Bhubaneswar, India, July 30, 2016 (By Mano Mani Singh)– The Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha and the Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha today signed a 25 year Project Implementation Agreement with Azure Power Mercury Private Limited, to develop the country’s first grid-connected MW scale roof-top solar project on net metering basis. This project, with a minimum capacity of 4 MW, will be set up across more than 100 Government buildings in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. The project will mobilize around Rs. 35 crore of private investment, and will be implemented by availing central financial assistance through MNRE. International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has been assisting GEDCOL over the last 3 years to conceptualize and structure this project, and to mobilize credible private investors. The European Union is extending its cooperation to this impactful program in Odisha through the EU-India Cooperation on Clean Technologies and Energy Efficiency for Eco-Cities. “I am glad to see that the Government of Odisha has taken a lead in developing the country’s first grid-connected net metering project on a PPP basis. This project marks an important milestone in the development of roof-top solar program in Odisha. Since 2013, we have worked intensively with IFC, to develop the enabling framework and regulations, to bring all stakeholders together, and design this project,” said Mr. Rajesh Verma, Principal Secretary, Government of Odisha. “We now plan to replicate the project across all large cities in the state, and enable residents-led proliferation.” Dr. Johann Hesse, Counsellor, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan said “The renewable energy sector offers excellent opportunities for cooperation between the European Union and India, in terms of policy, technology and research. The EU is
working closely with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy since the past 3 years and is supporting the solar roof-top sector through technical assistance to MNRE bringing EU best practices and lessons learned. Bhubaneswar is one of the five cities included for support in the IFC managed Eco-Cities Program funded by the EU and we look forward to further supporting the city in its endeavor to become a world-class smart city, including through technology and knowledge sharing with European companies.” Designing and implementing innovative climate-smart interventions in priority states has been a special focus of our work in IFC. Public private partnerships (PPP) designed under appropriate enabling regulatory frameworks can help mobilize private sector capital and improve efficiency in the renewable energy supply sector,” said Jun Zhang, IFC’s India Country Head. “Odisha government is our long-standing partner. This first-of- its-kind PPP project, where IFC came in as the principal transaction advisor, will open up a new market leading to consumer-led roof-top solar proliferation not just in Odisha but in the whole country.
In November 2014, IFC launched a white paper on solar rooftops highlighting how developing countries can help meet growing energy demands with environmentally-friendly, grid- connected, rooftop solar photovoltaic technologies. The white paper showcases how a public- private partnership approach can effectively bring policymakers, regulatory bodies, investors, and utilities together to devise feasible frameworks.The Government is planning to replicate this model in other cities in Odisha including Berhampur, Chhatarpur, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Hirakud and Burla in the next phase. A detailed roadmap has also been prepared to enable individual roof-top owners to avail of the benefits of roof-top solar. OREDA and the three electricity distribution companies (CESU, WESCO,NESCO and SOUTHCO), facilitated by GEDCOL are organizing a sensitization workshop and stakeholders’ consultation session on this road map today. More than 170 stakeholders shall participate in these consultations and provide their views after which the roadmap shall be finalized.