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Himachal Pradesh to switch to green energy by 2025

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

Statesman News Service | Shimla |

Having emerged as one of the most advanced states of the country with excellent socio-economic indicators, Himachal Pradesh aims to switch to green energy by 2025.

According to an official spokesperson, as Himachal Pradesh is projected as a power State in the country, the State Government under the leadership of Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu is committed to promote, develop and harness optimally, the huge energy potential of the State.

He said, “total identified hydro power potential of the state is around 27,436 MW and harnessable power potential is 23,750 MW, out of which, 10,781.88 MW has been harnessed.” he said.

Aiming at preserving the environment of the State, the Government, he said, intends to make Himachal Pradesh the first green energy State by the end of 2025 by harnessing hydro, hydrogen and solar energy and switching on to green products which will enhance the premium and advantage in export.

The State Government wants to refurbish the present system and the focus is on harnessing green energy in the best interest of the State.

The Chief Minister has directed the officers to make necessary amendments in the existing power policy and open all the solar projects upto 5 MW capacities for allotment to ease the norms.

“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 will be finalized soon,” he said further.

Solar projects upto 150 MW capacity will be installed by HIMURJA through private participation and priority will be given to Himachali’s in awarding these projects. The capacity of the projects will range from 250 KW to 1 MW, said the spokesperson.

In order to ensure that the State gets some financial benefits, the Government has directed HIMURJA to evolve a mechanism by seeking royalty of solar projects above 3 MW capacity, he said. In case of land being given to PSUs for developing solar projects, some percentage of land equity may be charged as well, he added.

The Chief Minister has directed HIMURJA to ensure 5 percent premium for the state in each solar power project up to 5 MW and 10 percent share in the solar power projects of more than 5 MW capacity.

HPPCL will also expedite the incomplete power projects like Kashang II and III, Shongtong and Karchham.

He said that the Chief Minister has stressed the need for fixing the timeline for each project and completing all these projects by 2025.

For this, the HPPCL will appoint a consultant for the preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and also to submit the report within a stipulated time so that the work on the solar projects could be started.

The Department of Energy and HPPCL will identify sites in other States like Rajasthan where the land is available at discounted rates for installation of Mega Solar Plant.

The State Government has already reviewed the progress of Kishau Dam Project (660 MW) where the water component is being financed by the Government of India and State in the ratio 90:10 respectively and the Power component to be shared 50-50 by Himachal and Uttrakhand.