Maharashtra has released its ‘Unconventional Energy Generation Policy’ to promote the development of renewable energy projects in the state. In the first part of the policy, the state lays out plans for the development of 17.3 GW of transmission system connected renewable energy projects by 2025. This capacity includes 12.9 GW of solar power, 2.5 GW of wind projects, 1.35 GW of co-generation projects, 0.38 GW of small hydro projects, and 0.2 GW of urban solid waste-based projects. Of the proposed solar capacity, 10 GW will be set up as standalone projects, 2 GW as grid-connected rooftop solar projects, 500 MW as solar-based water supply projects, and 250 MW of solar generation projects for farmers. The remaining solar capacity of 150 MW will be set up as wind-solar hybrid plants, solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations, and storage-integrated solar or wind projects.
The state has also proposed the implementation of transmission-free projects worth over $780 million. This includes 100,000 agricultural solar pumps, 52,000 kV of rooftop solar systems, 2,000 solar water supply stations, the electrification of 10,000 rural homes, microgrid projects for 20 homes, 55,000 square feet of solar water heating and solar cooking systems, and 800 solar cold-storage projects.
The current policy had initially been drafted in December 2020 in an attempt to address the power shortages combined with the growing levels of pollution in the state. The state of Gujarat had announced its solar policy in January 2020, which promoted the adoption of solar power by residential and captive users.