The West Bengal Power Minister, Manish Gupta, said that Government has taken up a plan to develop the state’s power infrastructure at an investment of Rs 4,000 crore over the next two years. The minister told the Assembly that the department of Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources is drawing up a draft document on Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Policy, which would be extended throughout the state in a phased manner. Gupta said that the rooftop solar photovoltaic policy for the state was likely to be announced very shortly after former approval of the state cabinet. The West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA) already took up a project for installation of 10 kWp rooftop grid connected PV power plant with net metering arrangement at 100 government and government-aided schools state wide with 100 per cent funding from the state budget.
The project would be extended to 500 schools altogether in phases. Gupta further said that the WBREDA was also implementing an off-grid school electrification programme for another 100 schools in the Sundarbans. The minister said that steps have also been taken to upgrade various low voltage area into high votage ones. The distribution infrastructure of the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited had much improved in the last four years with the installation of 82 new 33/11KV sub-stations, besides HT line and Distribution Transformers (DTRs) and so on. Starting from non-conventional energy resources, the state has already taken many projects to boost rural electrification and hydro-electric power generation programmes.