New Option for Electrifying Remote Tribal Villages under PM JANMAN

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced an amendment to the “New Solar Power Scheme” under the Pradhan Mantri Janjati Adivasi Nyaya Maha Abhiyan (PM JANMAN) initiative. This scheme aims to bring electricity to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) habitations. These new amendment were announced through an Office Memorandum dated March 26, 2024.

The program focuses on providing individual households with Standalone Home Lighting Systems (SHLS). It achieves this through the installation of solar mini-grids, catering to clusters of households within a PVTG village.

Benefits of Mini-Grids
  1. Cost-Effective:
    • MNRE will offer a subsidy of Rs. 50,000 per un-electrified household connected to the mini-grid.
  2. Sustainable Power Source: 
    • Solar mini-grids provide clean and reliable electricity.
  3. Centralized Maintenance: 
    • The mini-grid developer is responsible for operation and maintenance for a minimum of five years.
Two Implementation Modes

The amended scheme now offers two options for installing mini-grids:

  1. Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) Model: In the CAPEX or Capital Expenditure model, the consumer pays for the equipment, installation, operation, and maintenance of the energy system
  2. Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) Model: RESCO model is a zero-investment model in which the consumer pays only for the electricity generated, while the plant is owned by the RESCO developer.

This flexibility allows states to choose the most suitable model based on their resources and needs.

The inclusion of CAPEX mini-grids expands electrification options for PVTG villages. This amendment is expected to accelerate progress towards achieving the goal of PM JANMAN thus bringing the benefits of electricity to these underprivileged communities.