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Vijay Singhal, Managing Director of MSEDCL, announced on Friday that Maharashtra will set up solar plants in all its districts to produce 12,000MW of renewable energy over the next six-years.
This will ensure that there is no shortage of electricity supply because of the growing demand, particularly during summer months when it has reached over 28,000 MW.
Singhal stated that the main focus of the state’s investment in renewable energy, which was Rs 50,000 crore, will be on solar, wind, and renewables. This is especially true after it signed a large deal with ReNew Power at Davos earlier this year. This will be a game-changer for the state with a mix of renewable and existing thermal energy that will serve over 2.8 million consumers in Maharashtra.
The state currently generates approximately 9,000 MW using various thermal units, hydro and solar power plants. These figures are in addition to power purchase agreements with private suppliers, from which it obtains approximately 8,000 MW each day. Singhal stated that the 12,000 MW of additional solar power from the new plants will increase the power stock and lower power purchase costs in the future.
The cost of solar power will drop to Rs 2.25 per unit from the current price of Rs 3.50 to 4.50. This could also reduce the monthly tariff. He added that it is non-polluting, and will provide uninterrupted supply.
Singhal also announced that smart meters would soon be in large numbers across the state. A massive purchase of 28 million smart meters will be made in the next three-years. These meters will be prepaid meters that you pay in advance for your consumption and shut down automatically if bills aren’t paid. He said it will stop thefts and discourage people from not paying their monthly electricity bills.”
Sources claimed that the MSEDCL was in discussions with a Swiss company to purchase smart meters at bulk prices.
MSEDCL was primarily concerned with recovering money from consumers. Arrears have risen to Rs 65,000 crore recently.