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R. Meenakshi Sundaram, Uttarakhand’s Energy Secretary, has asked for suggestions as she releases the draft of Uttarakhand Solar Energy Policy-2022.
R. Meenakshi Sundaram stated that the state could produce up to 2000 MW of solar energy. This includes 600 MW of capacity for large projects, 250 MW for residential projects, and 750 MW commercial and industrial projects. Institutions can also use 350 MW and agriculture 50 MW.
The Uttarakhand Solar Policy-2022 provides that Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) will prepare a green tariff proposal to solar energy. This will be sent out to the Regulatory Commission. The regulatory commission might offer consumers the option of choosing a green tariff. Feed-in tariffs can also be used to encourage solar energy providers to the grid during peak hours. For easy monitoring and access, virtual net metering (VNM), and group net metering (GNM), can be used.
Under the leadership of Energy Secretary, a State Level Screening and Empowered Committee will be formed (SLSC), for allotment to solar power plants of up to 25 MW. The Chief Secretary will chair the SLEC to address any problems that may arise from the approval of the project and to amend the policy.
In the new policy, the responsibilities of Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (UREDA) have been expanded. UREDA will now have to establish a solar policy cell under which all solar projects will be processed through one window. It will cost Rs 10,000 per MW to apply.
UREDA will also need to create a land bank. It will be necessary to compile a list of all buildings and lands on which solar power projects could be established. Similar to the government lands, private lands must be identified on which a private individual can lease his project.
Stamp duty will be exempted at 100 percent for land leases and land purchases. The fee for changing the land use to set up a solar farm on private agricultural land will be exempted 100 percent. The papers of registration and lease will completely exempt court fees. The price of the lease will be reduced by 50 percent for those who install solar-powered EV charging stations on public land.
The new policy also guarantees employment for local youth. According to the policy, 70 percent of local youth will be employed by anyone who sets up a solar project on government land. This condition will be issued by UREDA in its tender.