No one ever thought of providing electricity to around 16000 households in about 895 villages sitting close to the China border in Arunachal Pradesh. For the first time, free of cost off-grid solar power kits of 300 watts, comprising of five number of 6W LED bulbs, a 20 Watts PLDC Fan, five lamp holders along with three-pin sockets for televisions etc and an 8-hour battery back-up will be given to these 895 remote villages, Union minister of power, RE, coal and mines (I/C), Piyush Goyal said on Monday.
The government has invited price bids from companies for this project that involves off-grid solar power to 895 villages along with 4,184 off-grid street lights. “The Composite off-grid cost of the project is Rs 80 crore….and the price bids will open on April 5,” the minister informed.
The cost of laying transmission lines in far flung areas like that of remote villages in far-flung areas of Arunachal Pradesh is much more than giving off-grid solutions through renewable energy Adoption of off-grid power supply systems is improving as many private project developers get low cost international finance for tapping the rising rural power demand in India.
Minister Goyal also said that in order to bring in transparency in procurement of power by states and exercising of low cost options, states will be asked to disclose the merit order of their power purchase–the ranking of various power sources available at a particular time and the energy cost. This will make it clear how states were procuring power.
He added that the government will make sure that state distribution utilities comply with their obligation to meet a part of the power demand with renewable energy. One way could be to disallow defaulting utilities from buying power from exchanges, he added.
In line with the government’s transparent practices, Mr Goyal also announced launching a new National Power Portal that will link all existing mobile applications giving real time data in the power sector. This portal will provide all details on procurement of power by states based on the cost of supply. “All information on merit order purchase by states will also be made public on this portal,” the minister said.
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