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Karnataka Cabinet clears revised solar policy

According to reports, the Karnataka Cabinet today gave clearance to the revised solar energy policy, which will encourage farmers to set up small solar power plants in their farms to produce energy and sell it electricity supply companies.

“The cabinet has given clearance to the revised solar energy policy, which will encourage farmers to set up small solar power plants with a capacity of 1 to 3 MW in their farms to produce energy and sell it ESCOMs,” state’s Energy Minister D K Shivakumar told reporters here.

The energy will be purchased by ESCOMs at the tariff fixed by Karnataka Energy Regulatory Commission from time to time, he added.

Shivakumar also said the policy would provide financial support to install solar plants on their private land through all possible means including getting loans through financial institutions.

Provisions also are there to provide farm land for investors on rent and it would be fixed by the government, Shivakumar said.

The policy also provides for liberalisation of norms related to purchasing farm land for non-agricultural purposes, to help investors buy land from farmers to set up solar power plants, the minister said.

Among other things, the policy will lay emphasis on the projects having more than 3MW capacity that will be selected based on competitive bidding process. “The government will facilitate purchase of energy generated under this category through ESCOMs,” he said.

The policy also proposes grid connected solar rooftop projects on public buildings, domestic, commercial and industrial establishments through net metering, Shivakumar said.

“The excess energy pumped into the grid shall be paid at the rate fixed by KERC fom time to time,” he added.

On other initiatives under the policy, Shivakumar said the government would develop solar parks across Karnataka.

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