JAKEDA messes up rooftop solar project
Believe it, Jammu Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) invited applications for installing rooftop Solar Power Plants (SPP), but had to abandon the process midway as the agency realised it had not finalised a company that could supply and install the solar panels, a basic requirement to install such plants. The Agency had in February invited applications from home owners and registered institutions for installing grid connected rooftop Solar Power Plants (SPP) at highly competitive prices.
The advertisement generated good response as the SPPs carried a subsidy component of 70 per cent. According to officials JAKEDA received around 300-400 application amounting to 4-5 MW from all over the state.
However, months passed and there was no headway in the installation of SPPs. According to sources it came to fore that JAKEDA had invited the applications in haste as it had yet to finalise the vendor or company that could supply the solar components and necessary service to install such solar plants. “It was like they decided to sell the milk when they were yet to purchase a cow,” said a solar entrepreneur. “It was done in very unplanned way.”
With growing applications and embarrassment, the agency decided to stop accepting any new applications and focus on finalising the vendor.
“There were so many issues like net metering which took time to get approved from cabinet and finalising the vendor also took time,” said P R Dhar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) JAKEDA. “But last month we floated an e-tender inviting bids from companies for supply of panels and other components. We will be finalising the company soon and launch the rooftop SPP scheme on a mega scale.”
According to sources, the tenders too have been extended multiple times and the May 31 deadline too has been extended to June 06 owing to unrest like situation in Kashmir. The tenders will decide the company, most probably from outside, that will supply the solar panels and associated components, and will be responsible for installation and service part too.
The officials at the JAKEDA are optimistic to generate record amount of solar electricity in the current year. “As of now 2MW of rooftop SPP has been sanctioned by MNRE and once we show utilisation certificates of the same we will get more sanction,” said Dhar. “We are hopeful once we get the vendor and the scheme is launched, we will be able to install a record 40-100 MW of rooftop SPP. We are confident that once people start realising its benefit everybody will install it.” Jammu and Kashmir is considered as laggard in implementing renewable projects. Under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) gave the state a target of generating 2 MW of rooftop solar power for 2015 and 54 MW for 2016. In both the years, it installed no rooftop SPPs. For 2017 too, unless immediate steps are taken, the target of generating 54MW rooftop solar power will be impossible to achieve.