Meghalaya govt launches Roof Top Solar Portal to improve energy access

People installing rooftop solar panels will have to do zero investment.

SHILLONG:

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, on Thursday, launched the Roof Top Solar Portal of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) in Shillong, an initiative aimed at improving energy access and reducing the carbon footprints of the State.

The launch programme was also attended by the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of MeECL, Arunkumar Kembhavi, and other senior officials of the Corporation.

In his address, Sangma said that the State has a long way to go in generating energy from alternative sources.

“The State has the capacity and opportunity to harness solar energy and this is where solar projects like these are important for us. The State government looks forward to make this sector grow as much as possible. The State will benefit by using renewable energy and it will also help reduce CO2 emissions,” the Chief Minister said.

He further added that people installing rooftop solar panels will have to do zero investment. They will get 40 per cent subsidy from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), 50 per cent from the vendor and 10 per cent from the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL).

It was informed that consumers who install solar panels will pay 2 rupees lesser to MeECL as compared to 6 rupees per unit, an amount that they are paying at present.

When consumers are not using electricity from solar panels, they will earn 1 rupee per unit from MeECL.

Consumers can apply for this Scheme through the unified solar rooftop portal.

Sangma also asserted that hydropower plants are not enough to meet the consumption needs of the State and generating power from other alternative sources is less than one per cent; “Therefore, some of the quick ways to reduce power deficiency are to have efficient power system,” he added.

It may be mentioned that Meghalaya received the highest sanction of funds from the MNRE among all the Northeastern states with a sanctioned capacity of 70 MW (Megawatt) in the First Phase.

The CM said that under this scheme, consumers will be able to rent their rooftops and sell excess electricity generated from the solar system to local electricity utility.

In this way, the ‘consumers’ will also become ‘prosumers’, he said, adding that this scheme will benefit 23, 000 households with a maximum of 3 kilowatts per household.

This initiative also provides for NET Metering where the power generated is first utilised by the consumers to meet their requirement and excess electricity is exposed to the grid.

The Chief Minister has appreciated the efforts of the Corporation in achieving this milestone in addressing the power crisis in the State which will ensure “improved, reliable and affordable” power supply to all electricity consumers of the State.

The CM also expressed his gratitude to Power Minister James K. Sangma for bringing a “significant change” to the power scenario in the State which is suffering from power shortage for decades.

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