Himachal Aims to Become India’s first Green Energy State by 2025

Highlights:

  • Himachal has plans to harness its solar, hydro, and hydrogen potential.
  • CM Sukhvinder Singh announced a target of building 500MW solar capacity in 2023-24
  • The energy department has been instructed to make necessary policy changes to ease Himachal’s transition to a green state.

The Himachal Pradesh government has announced plans to become the first green energy state by the end of 2025. Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu says that Himachal will harness solar energy, hydropower, and hydrogen to achieve this goal.

In a meeting with the senior officers of the state’s energy department, Mr. Singh directed authorities including, Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd. (HPSEBL), Himachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency (HIMURJA), and Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL) to make the necessary changes in the power policy and take action in this direction.

He has further instructed the concerned parties to open solar power plants above 5 MW capacity for allotment.

The state has plans to install solar power plants of up to 500 MW capacity in the year 2023-24. Out of this, 200 MW will be installed by HPPCL. Land for projects with 70 MW capacity has already been identified and the rest will get finalized very soon.

Solar plants with a cumulative capacity of 150MW will be installed by HIMURJA, through private participation. The solar plants will range from 250kW to 1 MW capacity, and preference would be given to Himachalis while awarding the projects.

To ensure that the transition is also financially lucrative, Mr. Singh has instructed HIMURJA to devise a way to procure royalty of solar projects above 3 MW capacity. In case land is given to PSUs for setting up solar plants, a percentage of land equity might be charged as well.

Talks of procuring a 5% premium for the state on up to 5 MW solar plants and a 10% share of plants with more than 5 MW capacity are also underway.

Further, the chief Minister has asked HPPCL to speed up the development of solar projects like Kashang II and III, Shongtong, and Karchham, and finish all projects by 2025. Also, the organization will hire a consultant to create a detailed project report (DPR) within 10 days so that the work on solar power plants can begin.

The Department of Energy and HPPCL will identify viable sites in other states like Rajasthan to set up Mega Solar Plants.

It was also revealed that SJVNL will set up a solar module manufacturing unit in the Parwanoo municipality. The state-owned power generation company will also develop five solar power plants in Himachal Pradesh.

“Thaplan, Solar Power Project (SPP) of 112.5 MW was being set up in district Una. In addition to this, 20 MW SPP Bhanjal and Kadh in Una district, 20 MW in Fatehpur in Kangra district, 30 MW SPP Kolar in Sirmaur district, and 12.5 MW in Rajgir in district Kangra were under pre-construction stage” explains the official statement released by the state government.

The Himachal government has promised to fully support the development of these projects and make the needed policy changes to ease the purchase of freehold private land.

In another bold move, the chief minister has asked SJVNL to increase the Himachal government’s share in upcoming solar power projects to up to 12%. The government will also create a committee to monitor the execution of the projects and ensure timely completion.

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Resource: ET EnergyWorld

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