Uttar Pradesh becomes the first state in the country to have formal statutory regulations for setting up solar powered mini-grids in remote villages not covered so far under the rural electrification scheme.
The regulations have been announced by the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC). The Akhilesh Yadav government has already put in place an ambitious mini-grid policy that allows entrepreneurs to set up a power generation and distribution network in remote areas and work independently.
UPERC chairman Desh Deepak Verma said regulations have been devised as per the policy to encourage more players to set up mini grids. Sources said, the regulations will view probable fate of mini grids when the villages they are set up in come under the ambit of government’s rural electrification programme and whether they will continue to supply power and on what terms. The other concern that will be considered is that while consumers’ grievances are referred to UPERC, those pertaining to mini grids are referred to the Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum, whose three members include a retired judge, a government servant and one representative of the licensee. The body exists in all 18-divisional headquarters, including Lucknow, Agra, Allahabad, Mirzapur, Azamgarh and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.