To cope with the power shortages faced in remote, rural and semi-urban areas of the country because of limited availability of grid-connected power, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has initiated a project for installation of 23,500 off-grid solar photovoltaic power plants of 1 kWp capacity each on rooftops of individual houses (domestic households) in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and a few other selected states.
The project is estimated to cost Rs. 493 crore. A Central Financial Assistance amounting to Rs. 148 crore from the National Clean Energy Fund has been approved for the project. The duration of the project is 12 months.
The respective state nodal agency will implement the project through open tender/e-procurement after sanction from MNRE.
The selection of beneficiaries will be done by renewable energy development agency in states.
For implementation of the project and monitoring of the SPV power plants, the SNA will get up to 2 percent of CFA as service charge from the MNRE.
The 1 kWp SPV power plant will include 1,000 Wp PV array, minimum 24 V system voltage, inverter, a battery bank, electronics, interconnect cables and controls and protections as per MNRE specifications. The manufacturer has to provide training to the beneficiary on technical aspects and maintenance of the plant.
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, launched in 2010, had set an ambitious target of adding 2 GW off-grid capacity by 2022 in three phases. In Phase I (2010-13), the capacity achieved under the segment of off-grid solar applications stood at 252.5 MW as against the target of 200 MW. The cumulative target for Phase II and Phase III are 1,000 MW and 2,000 MW respectively.
Phase II of JNNSM envisages coverage of around 20,000 villages, hamlets, basti and padas under the ‘Energy Access’ scheme by way of deployment of off-grid electricity generation projects.