The state’s first grid-connected 30kW rooftop solar power plant was inaugurated at Raj Bhavan on Wednesday by Goa governor Mridula Sinha.
Grid connectivity ensures that surplus solar power generated by the plant is fed to the power grid, allowing the consumer to sell surplus solar power to the power grid in the long run.
The 30kW (kilowatt) power plant was installed four years ago and was connected to the electricity grid only on May 17 this year. The project was commissioned in 2013 under the special area demonstration project scheme of the ministry for new and renewable energy.
The 30kW solar power plant was used for street lighting and in the garden within the Raj Bhavan premises before it was shifted from the battery operated system to the grid connected systems by Goa Energy Development Agency (GEDA), after approval from Goa electricity department.
Grid connectivity was granted after the state government approved the power purchase agreement and provided net metering grid connection to the plant.
The plant has a capacity of generating 30,000 units per year and is expected to bring down the power bills of the entire Raj Bhavan complex. Once the solar policy is finalised, the solar tariff rate for buying surplus solar power from consumers whose plants are connected to the grid, would be fixed by the electricity department.
GEDA, public works department (PWD) works division IV, Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) and the National Institute of Technology (NIT) had recently connected their solar installations to the grid system in the state.
On the occasion, Sinha spoke of a solar revolution and highlighted the importance of generating green renewable energy in the state, adding that collaboration with GEDA would encourage other parts of the state to replicate such green projects.
Chief secretary Dharmendra Sharma said that Raj Bhavan’s solar installation is a pilot demonstration of the progress Goa will achieve in terms of generating solar energy. The solar policy will ensure that clusters of housing as well as industries could take to this renewable form of energy. Power secretary Sanjay Goel said that in 2010, India had a total installed capacity of solar energy of only 10 megawatts, which has now increased to 12,000 megawatts, he added.
In its latest order the joint electricity regulatory commission (JERC) directed the electricity department to submit details regarding the finalisation of the policy within one month of the issuance of the order. Principal secretary environment and forests Dr Ranbir Singh and secretary to governor Rupeshkumar Thakur were also present.
Solar policy in public domain for a week
The state’s draft solar power policy will be put in public domain this week for suggestions and comments from all stakeholders, said power secretary Sanjay Goel. The final draft of the policy is expected to be ready by June 30, after taking public comments into consideration. Many proposals for grid connectivity received by the government are pending till the solar policy sets clear guidelines.