India plans 50MW solar projects for the public eye

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MNRE solar Beas project. Credit: MNRE

India’s Ministry of new and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has approved a scheme to set up a 50MW of solar power capacity in areas that can be easily viewed by the public.

A MNRE release said that the projects will be set up in “High visibility Areas”, such as in major towns, where land cost is high, but where many people can visit for “demonstration purposes”.

Two other focus locations are Adarsh Gram Yojana villages, which are part of a rural development programme, as well as demonstration projects in technology parks and public sites such as museums and markets.

The projects will be eligible for the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) mechanism as part of Batch VI – Phase II of the National Solar Mission (NSM).

The VGF funding helps the projects to become commercially viable and affordable for India’s distribution companies (Discoms). The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will implement the scheme.

The 50MW of projects, ranging between 1-5MW in size, are to be set up over the next two years. The tariffs for the projects will range from INR 4.43/kWh (US$0.065) to INR 5.43/kWh for 25 years.

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