The Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Limited and the Central Electricity Supply Utility on Saturday signed a 25-year project implementation agreement with Azure Power Mercury Private Limited to develop the country’s first grid connected rooftop solar project.The project, with a minimum installed capacity of four MW, will be set up across more than 100 Government buildings in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.As many as 114 Government buildings in Bhubaneswar and 85 buildings in Cuttack are found suitable for generation of rooftop solar energy.
The project will mobilise around `35 crore of private investment and to be implemented by availing Central financial assistance from Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), GEDCOL Managing Director Hemant Sharma said.International Finance Corporation (IFC), an affiliate of World Bank, has been assisting GEDCOL over the last three years to conceptualise and structure this project and mobilise credible private investors.The European Union is extending its cooperation to this impactful programme in Odisha through the EU-India Cooperation on Clean Technologies and Energy Efficiency for Eco-Cities.
“This project marks an important milestone in the development of rooftop solar programme in the State which has taken a lead in developing the country’s first grid connected net metering project on a PPP mode,” said Minister of State for Energy Pranab Prakash Das.Energy Secretary Rajesh Verma said the State Government has been working intensively with IFC since 2013 to develop the enabling framework and regulations to bring all stakeholders together and design the project. “We now plan to replicate the project across all big cities in the State,” he added.
“Odisha Government is our long-standing partner. This first-of-its-kind PPP project, where IFC came in as the principal transaction advisor, will open up a new market leading to consumer-led rooftop solar proliferation not just in the State but in the whole country,” said IFC’s country head Jun Zhang.Counsellor and delegation of European Union to India Johann Hesse said the renewable energy sector offers excellent opportunities for cooperation between the European Union and India in terms of policy, technology and research. Bhubaneswar is one of the five cities included for support in the IFC-managed ‘Eco-Cities Programme’ funded by the European Union.