EESL, DNRE Goa Ink MoU to Implement India’s 1st Convergence Project

As per the agreement signed, the two organisations will carry-out the feasibility studies and subsequent implementation of decentralized solar energy projects.

November 18, 2020. By Manu Tayal

State-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) and Department of New & Renewable Energy (DNRE) Goa have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to discuss rolling out of the country’s first project under Convergence Energy Services Ltd (Convergence) in the state.

Convergence Energy Services Ltd is the newly formed 100 per cent owned subsidiary of EESL.

The MoU was signed in the presence of R. K. Singh, Minister (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Nilesh Cabral, Power Minister, Goa, Sanjiv Nandan Sahai, Secretary, Ministry of Power and other senior officers of the Ministry.

As per the agreement signed, the two organisations will carry-out the feasibility studies and subsequent implementation of decentralized solar energy projects.

Through Convergence, EESL will be installing 100 MW of decentralized ground mounted solar power projects on government lands to be used for agricultural pumping, replace approximately 6,300 BEE star rated agricultural pumps and distribute approximately 16 lakh LED bulbs for rural domestic households.

While speaking during the occasion, R K Singh, Minister (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, said that, “the energy sector and the electricity sector in particular are transitioning in an unprecedented way. With this programme, Goa can avail 3 major benefits through reduced burden of subsidy, increased efficiency of products reducing power consumption and reduced burden on the environment. With this initiative, along with the Kusum Scheme, Goa is well on path of becoming a green state. I congratulate EESL for this innovative business model and hope that other states too come forward to adopt it.”

“Goa is the first state to adopt the concept of amortizing the cost of pumps and LEDs into a PPA. This approach saves us Rs 2,574 crore to the State over a period of 25 years, while improving the health of DISCOMs and providing cleaner power at the same time. This project will provide clean day time electricity to farmers and energy efficient pump sets that would reduce the power consumption as well as T&D losses associated with transmitting power to agriculture and rural feeder networks,” said Nilesh Cabral, Power Minister, Goa.

Furthermore, the projects are expected to accelerate the usage of renewable energy, especially for agricultural and rural power consumption in the State, and will also contribute in reducing peak energy demand through deployment of energy efficient pumping and lighting.

Furthermore, Convergence will install solar projects in a first of its kind large scale programme where vacant/ unused land provided by the Gram Panchayats/ electricity board will be utilized, and plants of 500kW to 2MW in size will be installed near the substations and enable DISCOMs to supply power during the day time and reduce transmission losses.

During on the occasion, Sanjiv Nandan Sahai, Secretary, Ministry of Power, said that “we believe that now that solar power has become affordable, implementing projects such as these can become a powerful means to eventually solarize our villages. Decentralized models of power development are becoming more and more important, and approaches such as the one being taken hold great promise to allow India to achieve her development goals.”

Convergence has been formed for the decentralised solar development in under-served rural communities in the country, and over time, using battery energy storage, will deliver renewable energy solutions to power agricultural pumps, street lighting, domestic lighting and cooking appliances in villages. It will also work to enable battery powered electric mobility and its infrastructure and design business models to increase the uptake of electric vehicles in India. To enable commercialization of these solutions at scale, it will employ business models that utilize a blend of concessionary and commercial capital, carbon finance and grants as appropriate.

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