Subsidies for solar plants in Chandigarh to be released in two weeks
As the last date for installation of solar plants in private residences has been extended to March 2021, all pending subsidies for the same will be released in two weeks, the Chandigarh Renewal Energy and Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST) has announced.
Giving details, CREST CEO Debendra Dalai said, “Under phase 2 of installation, which comprises all solar plants set up after May 2019, the subsidies were delayed due to the lockdown. There are 650 such cases out of which we have released subsidies of around 400 cases. I am currently approving around 50 cases a day so the remaining subsidies will be released within the next two weeks.”
In 2016, the UT administration had made installation mandatory of rooftop solar power plants in new properties measuring 500 square yards and above and in group housing societies. As per Dalai, there are around 7,200 such residential areas in the city. About 3,000 of them are yet to apply for permissions for setting up the plant. “The date had to be extended to give some time to these people to apply for as well as to set up the plant,” Dalai added.
The UT has also proposed a Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) model (which provides energy to the consumers from renewable energy sources, usually solar photovoltaics and wind power) for setting up power plants due to which installation costs would come down, Dalai added.
For residents who had installed the plants, it has been a long wait for subsidies. CREST releases a subsidy of 40% for power plants with a capacity 3 kilowatt (kW).
The president of the Sector 8 resident welfare association (RWA), Ranvinder Singh Gill said, “After spending over Rs 4 lakh on the solar project, it is disheartening to not receive the subsidy. During the Covid-19 epidemic the government should make it a priority to pay back what they owe us. “
Sector Sector 33 resident, Brig KS Gill (retd), aged 98 years, added that it was unfortunate that super senior citizens like him were also made to wait for subsidies.
The Federation of Sector Welfare Association Chandigarh, Sandeep Bhalla said, “We had held a meeting with CREST in January 2020 and were assured that around Rs 5 crore in funds had been received by CREST for this payment, so I hope we receive it soon.”
Crest has set a target of producing 69 megawatt (MW) power in the city by 2022, while currently the city produces over 30 MW. Of this, about 12 MW is from residential areas.