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New Delhi :The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by PM Narendra Modi on February 22, 2017, approved the enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects.

The enhanced capacity would ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks each with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country. Smaller parks in Himalayan and other hilly states, where contiguous land may be difficult to acquire in view of the difficult terrain, will also be considered under the scheme. The capacity of the solar park scheme has been enhanced after considering the demand for additional solar parks from the states, according to a PIB release. The Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects will be set up by 2019-20 with Central Government’s financial support of Rs 8,100 crore.

It would also contribute to long term energy security of the country and promote ecologically sustainable growth by reduction in carbon emissions and carbon footprint, as well as generate large direct and indirect employment opportunities in solar and allied industries like glass, metals, heavy industrial equipment etc. The solar parks will also provide productive use of abundant uncultivable lands which in turn facilitate development of the surrounding areas. 

All the States and UTs are eligible for benefits under the scheme. The solar parks will be developed in collaboration with state governments/UTs. The State Governments/UTs are required to select the Solar Power Park Developer (SPPD) for developing and maintaining the solar parks.  Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is already implementing a scheme for development of at least 25 solar parks with an aggregate capacity of 20,000 MW, which was launched in December 2014. As on date, 34 solar parks of an aggregate capacity 20,000 MW have been approved and are at various stages of development, the PIB release said.

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