The second phase of National Solar Mission aims at installing both off-grid and grid-connected rooftop photo-voltaic systems to address electricity shortage

With demand of electricity growing by leaps and bounds throughout the country, distribution utilities are finding it difficult to manage the peak demand of their particular areas resulting in severe electricity shortages. In order to address this shortfall, Phase II of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) is focussing on deployment of both off-grid and grid-connected rooftop photo-voltaic (PV) systems in the country.

According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s document for the second phase of the National Solar Mission (2012-17), grid-connected rooftop PV systems shall be connected to the grid either of 11 KV three phase line or of 220 V single phase line depending on the system installed at the institution/commercial establishment or residential complex. 

Power generated by these systems would be utilised by industrial and captive loads — feeding excess power to the grid as long as grid is available. The off-grid roof top PV systems would be deployed at places which are not connected to the gird or not connected but getting electricity from the grid. The Phase II would target deployment of 1,000 MW of rooftop projects both at off-grid and grid-connected levels. 

The National Solar Mission envisages installation of around 10 GW utility scale and one GW off-grid solar power projects by the end of Phase II. The 12 Plan also targets capacity addition of 10 GW of grid-connected solar power in India. It is envisaged that out of this 10 GW target, four GW would be developed under Central scheme and six GW under various State-specific schemes. “The immediate aim of the mission is to focus on setting up an enabling environment for solar technology penetration in the country both at centralised and decentralised level” — the Solar Mission document states.  

The document states that in Phase II, it is necessary to build on the achievements of Phase I to ensure continued success of the mission. Large scale solar projects are going to play a huge role in JNNSM Phase II. 

Phase II is targeting to bring cumulative solar capacity to 10 GW by 2017. The Centre shall provide the required support for development of solar projects under this category. Unlike Phase I, Phase II is not entirely dependent on the bundling scheme to bring the costs down, as the target capacity under Phase II is high and without confirmation on availability of unallocated quota with central generating stations, implementation of Phase II will have to rely upon combination of various schemes like Generation Based Incentive (GBI), Viability Gap Funding (VGF) and Bundling schemes.  

Witnessing a steep fall in tariff discovered under Phase I, Phase II is expected to achieve new heights of success while achieving grid parity before 2017. To make Phase II successful, wider participation of States is required with development of transmission and distribution network to connect areas with high solar potential. Developing cluster of solar parks will help reduction in costs further and fair market play will prevail and help in development of various technologies used for achieving Phase II targets.