The Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (SPDCL) has initiated the process of ‘decentralized distributed generation’ of solar energy in 13 villages in Prakasam (10) and Kurnool (3) districts under the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY).
These are all remote villages where the Discom took up distributed generation of solar power to encourage its use and reduce technical losses in evacuating the energy to the grid. They are also the habitations where the Discom finds providing the last-mile connectivity difficult owing to their distant location.
What the SPDCL does is exporting the solar energy generated by a large number of PV modules on rooftops directly into the grid, without creating the infrastructure required for transmission and distribution of conventional (thermal) energy.
The process would save money and eliminate scope for technical losses. Decentralized distributed generation (DDG) is one in which solar energy is collected by multiple PV modules set up on houses / buildings (in remote habitations) and then sent to grid.
Otherwise, thermal energy is to be injected into the grid through substations and other T&D equipment, which is neither feasible nor cost-effective. On the economic front, the DDG projects get 90 per cent subsidy from the Centre and the rest in form of loan from the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) or State funds. In the present case, the costs are being borne by the State government, according to official sources.
According to the schedule, the SPDCL would generate solar power in these villages which, in turn, will be wheeled to the grid with cooperation from the REC, the nodal agency for the RGGVY with a mandate to ensure cent percent electrification of villages across the country. The energy would then be pumped into the network covering these villages in a cost-effective manner. More remote villages in eight districts which fall under the SPDCL’s jurisdiction will be covered under the RGGVY in a phased manner.