Himachal to develop two Green Panchayats in each district by setting up solar power projects

The proposal of the State Government to invest in Solar Power will provide much awaited end results when it comes to conservation of the pristine environment of the State, this was stated by spokesperson of power Department of Himachal Pradesh in a press statement issued today.

 “The preservation of the ecosystem will certainly pave the way for ‘Green and Clean Himachal’, thereby fulfilling the dream of the Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu towards Green Energy State.” spokesperson said. 

Considered as a renewable source of power, solar energy has an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change, which is critical to protecting humans, wildlife, and ecosystems. Solar energy is a key to improve air quality and reduce water use from energy production.

In a bid towards ‘Green and Clean Himachal’ the Government mulls to develop two Panchayats in each district of the State as Green Panchayats by setting up Solar Power projects ranging from 500 KW to 1 MW capacity on pilot basis.  

The youth of the State will also be given 40 percent subsidy to set up solar power projects ranging from 250 KW to 2 MW on their own or leased land, as per Budget assurance of the Chief Minister.

A solar power based ‘Battery Energy Storage System’ Project is proposed to be set up in Pangi in the tribal area of district Chamba to strengthen the power supply system in the remotest region of the State.

The Government also proposed to set up ‘Himachal Pradesh Power Sector Development Programme’ to cost Rs. 2000 crore with the help of the world bank, Under this there is a provision to construct solar power projects with a capacity of 200 MW and to construct 11 sub-stations and 2 distribution lines serving 13 towns of the State.

This will also provide us with a greater electricity grid security, especially in terms of natural or human-caused disasters. With the help of solar panel grants, one can also be paid to export electricity back to the grid, thereby adding to zero electric bills vis-a-vis direct income to the consumers.  

Big private players and major Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) of the country have already assured to invest in the State in this vital sector.

Apart from this, a major PSU of the country, Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) is coming up with five Solar Power Projects (SPPs), in Himachal Pradesh. Thaplan, Solar Power Project (SPP) of 112.5 MW is 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  are under pre-construction stage.

To envision the concept of Green Himachal, the Government has promised to extend all possible support to the executing agency for setting up these projects and take necessary steps to amend policy for purchase of freehold private land in order to facilitate the company.

The State Government will also invest in solar plants and will install 500 MW solar projects during the year 2023-24. Among these, 200 MW will be installed by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL) for which land has been identified for 70 MW capacity and the rest of the sites are to be finalized soon.

Solar projects upto 150 MW capacity will be installed by HIMURJA through private participation and priority with priority to Himachali’s.

In order to ensure that the State also gets some financial benefits, the state government has directed HIMURJA to evolve a mechanism by seeking royalty of solar projects above 3 MW capacity.

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