“The people-centric CM Solar Mission will be a flagship Renewable Energy intervention committed to fostering green and clean energy transformation across the state,” Sangma said at the launch program.
The mission will not only address power deficits but also usher in a new era of resilience, independence and green progress for Meghalaya. Apart from a substantial subsidy, it has back-end bank financing to enable beneficiaries avail the benefit at minimal investment, he said.
The state government will earmark investment of Rs 100 crore annually for the solar mission initially. It intends to attract and invite more partners to diversify the portfolio for funding, including from corporate social responsibility, carbon credits or investment by like-minded organisations from across the world, he said.
The installed capacity of the mission is expected to be equal to the current installed capacity of the state in the next two to three years, Sangma said.
Net metering will be made available for the higher capacity hybrid solar units which can be fed to a local grid and then the national grid. The subsidy will range from 70 per cent for individual households to 50 per cent subsidy for schools, hospitals, hotels, and other commercial entities, he said. The state has an installed capacity of 378.38 MW supplied from hydel power projects, while the current peak power demand is over 500 MW. The demand is increasing every year by over 50 MW, officials said. “Our approach is multi-faceted and dynamic which focusses not only on technological solutions but also on the solution of real world problems. Our interventions always focused on technology, but missed out on the larger picture that is the actual utility to individuals and how it solves the day-to-day problems faced by the common man,” the chief minister said.
He said that the endeavor also paves the way for a greener economy.
He also announced that LED assembling units will be set up across the state and generate employment opportunities for its youth, besides advancing self-reliance”.
Discussions are also on with battery manufacturers to set up battery production and maintenance facilities in Meghalaya, he added.
Power Minister A T Mondal said that all power projects in the state are hydel-based projects and except for the Umiam project, all are run using river water. When there is less rainfall, the generation of hydel power dips.
The installed hydel power capacity in the state is 378.7 MW, while the harnessed capacity is much less due to the low water levels in the rivers and rainfall deficit. The peak demand in 2020-21 is 365.38 MW, which increased to 403.78 MW next year. It is about 500 MW presently.