Bengaluru: Instead of boosting solar energy production in the state, the government’s offer to buy power from rooftop producers of the energy has given room for corruption.
Nine executive engineers have been suspended for entering into bogus Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with applicants, who allegedly intended to sell them for a “premium” to would-be investors with the connivance of the officials concerned, Energy Minister, D K Shivakumar, told reporters here on Wednesday.
Under the new policy, those interested in producing solar power on their rooftops were allowed to sign a PPA with the energy department while waiting for an investor to fund their production.
But when in the last week of May there was an influx of over 5631 applications for the PPAs to produce and supply 2290 MW of rooftop power, the government grew suspicious and ordered a spot inquiry.
The investigation found that a large number of applicants did not have a rooftop for producing solar energy and had entered into the PPA by showing merely some vacant land they hoped to use for the project.
Some did not have an RR Number for an electricity connection and in one case the PPA was signed giving an agriculture IP set RR number for producing one megawatt of power, which required at least one lakh sq. ft of roof space, the minister revealed. As 90 per cent of the applications were bogus, the department will cancel all the PPAs entered into with these applicants.
A committee under the Chief Engineer has been formed and it will visit every spot proposed for the project and submit a report, he said....