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Home News Power Sector News Reliance Industries to provide solar energy to 3 discoms in Rajasthan

Reliance Industries to provide solar energy to 3 discoms in Rajasthan

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RelianceMukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries has entered into an agreement to sell solar energy to three three power companies of Rajasthan - Jaipur Discom, Ajmer Discom and Jodhpur Discom.RIL is setting up a 5 MW solar power generation plant at Khimsar village in Nagaur district. Jaipur Discom Chairman R G Gupta said that the agreement is first of its kind to tap the solar energy for the benefit of consumers in the state. "According to the agreement, RIL will get Rs 15.78 per unit. The power purchase rate would be Rs 3.67 for 10 years while Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) will pay Rs 11.33 per unit as per the directives of Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) to promote solar green energy. Apart from that, the discoms will pay 78 paise per unit to the power generation company," he said.

The tariff and incentives will be applicable only if the plant is commissioned by December 2009. "As per the policy, IREDA will pay an incentive of Rs 11.33 per unit in the first year of operation, and for each subsequent year it would reduce it by 4 paise per unit.

"Subsequently, there will be an a 4 paise rise in tariff to compensate the overall payout to RIL," Gupta said. Electricity generation from solar energy is prohibitively expensive. The cost per megawatt in case of solar power comes around to Rs 24 crore while in case of wind power it is Rs 5 crore and Rs 4 crore in case of thermal power.

Also, the per unit cost of generation is also high at Rs 15 in case of solar power plant compared to Rs 3 per unit in conventional electricity consum

"As of now, solar energy is not viable for utilities. It is imperative that prices come down. A technological breakthrough is required to bring the cost down. Since it is very expensive to generate power from solar energy, the government prefers to invest money in other conventional and non-conventional sources like wind, biomass and coal," a power department official said.

Currently, around 7.7 per cent of the country's total energy generation comes from renewable sources, mostly from wind energy, biomass projects and mini hydro projects. The country has an installed renewable generation capacity of 10,622.45 MW and the Centre is targeting the addition of another 14,000 MW of renewable energy capacity during the Eleventh Five-Year Plan.

Courtsey- PTI

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