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Himachal Pradesh has set a target of creating 10,000 MW (10 GW) of additional green energy with the ratification of a new energy strategy, Swaran Jayanti Energy Policy, by the state cabinet on Friday.
The new energy strategy includes a number of provisions aimed at achieving the objective of harvesting and commissioning 10,000 MW of hydro energy by 2030, to achieve a total operational capacity of 20,948 MW.
HP’s new power policy also aspires to build the state as a “water battery.” According to the plan, Himachal Pradesh will be developed as the country’s water batteries for Pumped Storage Projects (PSPs) on a stand-alone basis, as well as to offer a policy framework in combination with components of existing or ongoing projects.
Various incentives would be offered, such as free electricity royalty for pump storage projects, exemption from LADF and the registration fee for land purchase, and so on.
A provision has been introduced to exclude open access costs on input and output energy for small projects up to 5 MW capacity. Furthermore, in order to assist the prepping and timely execution of hydro and solar projects, a Transmission Master Plan provision has also been introduced.
Under the newly introduced policy, pump storage projects with a capacity of 10,000 MW will also be established, as well as investment in the green hydrogen sector will be made, and sites appropriate for hydroelectric projects will be identified and examined.
As a result of the aforesaid capacity development, about Rs 2 lakh crore will be invested in the state, and approximately one lakh people would be employed.
Hydropower projects with a capacity of roughly 755 MW are anticipated to be completed during FY 2021-22, comprising 400 MW of Parvati-II, 150 MW of Tidong-I, 180 MW of Bajoli Holi, and 25 MW of Lambadug.
The state administration also proposes gradually establishing grid-connected rooftop solar panels at all health and education establishments. It has set a target of 2 MW rooftop capacity for the planned initiative.
The budget also suggested delivering off-grid solar power systems of 250 W to 1,500 low-income people in Lahaul, Pangi Valley, and Spiti.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur stated that the state government will choose ten projects using the plug-and-play paradigm. After obtaining the appropriate permissions, it would propose these projects to the private sector through a competitive tender procedure.
Furthermore, 29 new initiatives will be launched to increase the quality of the power supply, and 23 under construction programmes will be finished throughout the fiscal year.