• Andhra Pradesh's state government has updated its 2015 solar power policy with a 2018 version
  • It targets 5 GW of total capacity under the new policy for a period of 5 years, of which 4 GW will be developed in form of solar power parks
  • It has also launched wind-solar hybrid power policy through which it will also aim to contract 5 GW of total capacity

India’s State Government of Andhra Pradesh has replaced its 2015 solar power policy with its Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Policy-2018. In both versions, the targeted capacity remains the same at 5 GW, to be achieved in next 5 years.

A cumulative 2,515.78 MW  solar power capacity was installed in the state under the 2015 policy, said the government. In a separate update, it said that the total operational solar power capacity of the state till December 31, 2018 was 2,840.77 MW.

Initially, AP will develop 4 GW of solar power parks and help facilitate in building up necessary infrastructure like power evacuation, water requirements and internal roads. State electricity distribution companies (discoms) are planned to procure around 2 GW of solar power capacity in a phased manner during the operative period of the policy by signing power purchase agreement (PPA) with validity of 25 years.

Under the ambit of the new policy, the government will provide incentives for new solar manufacturing facilities and equipment, ancillaries related to solar power projects as per the state’s prevailing industrial promotion policies, and provide a single desk portal to obtain time bound statutory clearances. Projects developed by manufacturers will get preference for off take of power, PE connectivity and to access to banking facilities.

All projects set up under the solar parks developed by the government will be exempted from registration with the state nodal agency, New & Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Ltd. (NREDCAP).

The policy may be up for a mid-term review after 2 years of being in effect.

Along with its updated solar power policy, the government has also officially issued the Andhra Pradesh Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Policy-2018 to help the state achieve 18 GW of total renewable energy capacity by the year 2021-22. The 18 GW target translates into 10% of the national target. Under its state hybrid policy it targets to contract 5 GW of capacity in the next 5 years. The hybrid projects allow combination with various energy storage technologies, while no such provision has been specified under the solar power policy.

The state wants to promote wind-solar power projects in line with the National Wind Solar Hybrid Power Policy (see India Launches Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy). Potential for both these technologies to co-exist majorly lies in the Rayalaseema belt, according to the government.

While solar power under its specific policy will be deemed ‘scheduled’, under the hybrid policy, all power generated will be treated as ‘must run’.