Administrative Council approves ‘Rooftop Solar Scheme’ in J-K

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The Administrative Council (AC), which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, approved the installation of 200 MW of grid-tied rooftop solar power plants under the “Solar City Mission” in Jammu.

Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the LG, Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J-K and Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the LG attended the meeting.

The decision has been taken to implement the Government of India’s Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Scheme, Phase-II for the residential sector in J-K to ensure that the electricity needs of the city are fully met from solar energy.

Under the project, 200 MW grid-tied rooftop solar power plants will be installed on 50,000 residential buildings in Jammu city by the Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) under its “Solar City Mission” at an estimated cost of 1040 crores. The project will be completed by March 2024 and will have a lifetime of 25 years.

The Rooftop Solar Programme will provide subsidized installation of solar power panels on residential houses at the cost of Rs. 58,739, Rs. 53,995, Rs. 52,594, and Rs. 51,309 for Category-A (Up to 1 kW), Category-B (> 1 kW to 2 kW), Category-C (> 2kW up to 3 kW), and Category-D (> 3 kW up to 10 kW), respectively.

The Central Sector Scheme provides a central subsidy component of 40 percent of the project cost and a state subsidy component of 25 percent of the project cost for the installation of solar power panels, below 3 kW capacity, beyond which the central subsidy component remains at 20 percent. The subsidy will be provided to the beneficiaries through the DBT mode.

These rooftop solar power plants will be connected to the grid on a net metering basis. The investments made by the beneficiaries will be recovered at a rate of 25 percent annually on account of the saving of energy, with a payback period of approximately four years.

With the implementation of the project, J-K will benefit from the generation of approximately 280 million units of energy annually, with a corresponding reduction in carbon emissions of approximately 5.44 million tons, besides reaping gains from savings on account of inter-state transmission losses to the tune of 224 million units.

The generation of solar energy through the Rooftop Solar Programme will also help the energy-deficit of J-K in supplementing its energy needs, while assisting the DISCOMs in achieving the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) Targets of 10.5 percent as fixed by the GoI.

The project will also provide employment opportunities to local youth. Based on employment estimates, it is calculated that the 1 MW rooftop solar PV project generates a total of 40 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs over the 25 years expected lifetime of the project, which includes highly skilled personnel for business development, design, sales, procurement, and project management; one-time jobs for construction and installation of the rooftop PV system; and unskilled resources required annually for cleaning activity of the plant.

A number of additional job roles are also created by solar PV grid-connected projects in secondary and tertiary roles vis-à-vis manufacturing and supply of system equipment such as inverters, cables, trackers, and other parts. As such, around 8000 jobs will be generated through the project.

The scheme mandates implementing agency, viz. JAKEDA to provide regular quality supervision and certification of the quality of material to be installed; periodic monitoring of physical progress and third-party quality checks from MNRE approved test centres; provide free maintenance for a period of 5 years post installation; install bi-directional net-meters; and ensure project completion within the given timelines—(KNO)

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