Govt targets additional 118 MW off-grid solar PV capacity by 2020

The government aims to add 118 MW of solar power through installation of off grid decentralised solar photovoltaic systems across the country over the next two years.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the implementation of Phase-Ill of off-grid and decentralised solar PV application programme to achieve an additional 118 MW solar PV capacity by 2020.
Phase-Ill of off-grid and decentralised solar PV application programme covers solar street lights, stand-alone solar power plant sand solar study lamps.
It is proposed to install 3,00,000 solar street lights throughout the country with special emphasis on areas where there is no facility for street lighting systems through grid power, especially in the north-eastern states and districts affected by Left wing extremism.
It is proposed to promote the setting up of stand-alone solar power plants of individual size up to 25 kW in areas where grid power has not reached or is not reliable. This is mainly aimed at providing electricity to schools, hostels, panchayats, police stations and other public service institutions. The aggregated capacity of solar power plants would be 100 MW.
The government also plans to provide 25,00,000 solar study lamps in the North East and districts affected by Left wing extremism.
The government will give financial support of up to 30 per cent for solar street lights and solar power plants of the benchmark cost of the system across states while it will provide up to 90 per cent financial support to such power plants in the NE states, Hill states and Island UTs.
For solar study lamps only 15 per cent of the lamp cost to be borne by beneficiary student and balance will be provided as financial support as such systems will be provided to school going children in backward and remote areas.
The total project cost of the three components included under the phase-Ill is Rs1,895 crore, which include Rs637 crore of central assistance.
The off-grid solar systems will also open better livelihood opportunities for beneficiaries in rural and remote areas thereby increasing self-employment in such areas. 
It is estimated that besides increasing self-employment, the implementation of Phase-III is likely to generate employment opportunity equivalent to 8.67 lakh man-days for skilled and unskilled workers.