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Solar power plan for Ahmedabad hits a roadblock

According to reports, the state government’s plan to tap solar power as an alternative source of energy in the state capital has hit a roadblock as private house owners are not willing to lease out their terraces for a longer duration.

The government had decided to go for rooftop solar panel installation for producing power for consumption in the state capital, but found it effective because of the high installation cost and the shorter duration for which the terraces were leased out by the owners.

Replying to a question by Bayad MLA Mahendrasinh Vaghela, power minister Saurabh Patel said that to tap solar energy, the government had given approval to 81 private players for producing 948.5mw power, out of them 71 are currently producing around 833mw solar power in the state.

Patel said that currently 637mw is being produced in three districts — Patan (311mw), Surendranagar (196mw) and Kutch (130mw). He said that the rates are fixed and reviewed periodically by Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC).

For the initial two years from January 2010, the GERC had fixed a tariff of Rs 12.54 per unit which changed to Rs 8.63 in 2013 and later to Rs 8.03, the minister added.

The opposition, however, alleged that the high rates were being fixed only to benefit the private players. In reply, the minister said that the tariff in state was lower than what was proposed by the central regulation commission.

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