With special focus on solar energy, the State government has come out with the Tamil Nadu Solar Energy Policy 2012 and also taken several other measures to boost solar energy generation in the State.

At a meeting organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, here on Saturday, Electricity Minister Natham R. Viswanathan said that all new government buildings would go in for solar energy. Houses constructed under the Green House Scheme also went in for solar power. Further, the government was installing one lakh solar street lights.

According to the policy, all solar or solar-wind hybrid systems installed on roof tops by domestic consumers before the end of March next year would get generation-based incentive. The Centre gave 30 per cent subsidy for minimum 1 kw systems.

Industries could invest in solar energy parks. The Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) was the single window system to get all clearances. The TEDA would help the investing units identify land for the solar park. The government would create evacuation facilities and the investors could opt to sell the power generated to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedgo) or through the open access system. Those into manufacture of solar equipment and accessories were eligible for several concessions.

The target was to have 3,000 MW of solar energy generation capacity in the State in three years. Of this, the target for this year was 1,000 MW and bids had come for 260 MW. It would be possible to achieve the target with improving awareness of the scheme, he said.

In the case of solar energy obligation for high tension and commercial tariff consumers, it was three per cent for this year and six per cent next year. The target was fixed after studying the feasibility. If the industries were unable to generate the required solar energy, the Tangedco would be able to buy it and supply to the industries at the purchase rate, he said.

Coimbatore Mayor S.M. Velusamy said that Coimbatore was one of the solar cities identified in the country. The local body planned to go in for 2 MW solar energy generation.

Former president of the chamber Mahendra Ramdass sought reduction in the solar power obligation for industries this year and said that the evacuation infrastructure should be improved in the State.

Chamber president R.R. Balasundaram said that the chamber welcomed the solar energy policy of the government. Provisions for solar systems should be included in the planning stage in buildings of about 2,000 sq.ft. or more, he suggested.