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Tamil Nadu assures support to solar power producers

According to reports, grid connected solar power producers in Tamil Nadu can be confident of timely tariff payments and evacuation, assured the Electricity Minister, Natham R. Viswanathan.

The State-owned utility, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company, will soon be calling for bids from solar power generators to enter into long-term power purchase agreements with it.

The utility plans to tie-up 1,000 MW of solar power in line with the plans outlined in the Tamil Nadu Solar Energy Policy 2012 announced last month.

The utility has interacted with potential investors and their concerns will be addressed. It is committed to making timely tariff payments and provide the evacuation infrastructure. Additional evacuation capacity will be created wherever needed, the Minister said.

Addressing Energy 2012: Vision 2023, a seminar on sustainable energy management organised by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he said the policy envisages addition of 3,000 MW of solar power generation over the next three years and provide incentives to nurture the sector.

Energy Secretary Ramesh Kumar Khanna said the solar energy policy not only supports generation but will also drive demand as the Government has mandated 6 per cent solar purchase obligation from January 2014. Initially, till December 2013 it will be 3 per cent.

The obligation covers high tension power consumers including SEZs, industries guaranteed uninterrupted power, IT parks, telecom towers, colleges and residential schools and buildings of more than 20,000 sq.m.

They will have to meet 3-6 per cent of their power requirement from solar power under the purchase obligation.

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