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Reimagining the deployment of rooftop solar panels for NRED

Developing an innovative policy on decentralised renewable energy for the New & Renewable Energy Department (NRED) of the Government of Madhya Pradesh

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Client issue

The Government of India’s policy to install solar power projects on rooftops barely witnessed 0.1% achievement (= 2.2 MW was installed of the 2,200 MW target by FY22) for Madhya Pradesh. To grow 1000-fold, the state had to reimagine the possible.

PwC approach

Our team worked with NRED’s team to develop an innovative policy on decentralised renewable energy, and also supported its implementation.

The innovative design and implementation focused on stakeholders who would benefit the most but could not afford the upfront capital. It also addressed the higher risks of decentralised projects by reimagining the traditional RESCO (Renewable Energy Services Company) model.

The model reduced costs by providing extensive details in the data room, packaged several installations to gain scale, and offered payment security. The pre-bid conference was webcast live by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to its 121 member countries.

Impact

Implementation scaled across 643 project sites covering social institutions such as colleges, hospitals, police stations, schools and universities. The bid process was oversubscribed 6 times. The winning bidders will install solar panels at their own cost, on the rooftops of these target institutions. On the other hand, these institutions will pay just 1/4th of the current power tariff and thus save hugely on their power bills, reduce carbon footprint and protect the environment.

To ensure speedier implementation, our team helped NRED manage a massive contract signing ceremony involving 427 contracts (totaling over 75,000 pages), each with a unique counterparty, in a very short period of time.

The success of this bid process encouraged NRED to initiate a follow-on bid process in October 2018 which further managed to decrease the solar tariff to ₹1.38 per kWh (about one sixth of the current cost of power). The savings entirely go to the target social institutions.

Almost one third of the electricity produced in India is lost till it reaches the end consumer. But with decentralised generation, such losses are being eliminated, power systems are being de-congested. Solar rooftops have enabled the country to consume electricity in a cost effective manner and grow in a sustainable way. This transformational solar revolution is recognised as an example for the rest of India and for the many member countries of the international solar alliance.

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