Farmers now can sell solar power to Grid

Farmers now can sell solar power to Grid
Highlights

The state government is contemplating to introduce ‘grid connected solar pump set and income generating scheme’ soon under which farmers can use the free power for irrigation and sell the remaining to the power grid at low price. The government will provide solar pump sets to farmers under the scheme.

Amaravati: The state government is contemplating to introduce ‘grid connected solar pump set and income generating scheme’ soon under which farmers can use the free power for irrigation and sell the remaining to the power grid at low price. The government will provide solar pump sets to farmers under the scheme.

Energy department officials said the farmers can earn approximately Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per year by using this grid connected solar pump sets. The farmers will also save ground water. Due to this scheme, a solar pump set is considered not only as an irrigation asset but also assured income generating asset to farmers.

“This scheme is a win-win situation as even if farmers use the pump set for 200 days in a year, in the remaining 165 days the grid will get green power at low price. Due to this unique scheme a solar pump set is considered not only as an irrigation asset but also assured income generating asset to farmers,” the officials said.

The state government is considering implementing the scheme as a pilot project in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaran and Srikakulam district with a target of distributing 75,000 solar pump sets worth Rs 3.5 lakh each to farmers at an estimated total project cost of Rs 2,625 crore.

Power distribution companies (discoms) have been suggested to borrow the money from Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electricity Corporation, Indian Renewable Development Agency, NABARD, World Bank, Andhra Bank and SBI and implement the scheme.

The government also reportedly suggested that a single tender comprising EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) would help in fast grounding of the scheme. New and Renewable Energy Corporation (NREDCAP) will be the nodal agency for tender process.

A meeting may be conducted by NREDCAP with all stakeholders such as pump manufacturers, system integrators, solar pump developers, lenders, discoms, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) and insurance companies at Vidyut Soudha in Vijayawada on May 22.

Before launching this scheme, the performance of 24,000 off-grid solar pumps that have already been installed in several districts will be evaluated by the government. The government has also decided to visit neighbouring states where these pump sets have been installed so as to obtain first-hand knowledge of their performance.

The government may invite tenders in June for solar pump sets and meeting would be conducted with solar pump manufactures in third week of May to know their annual manufacturing capacity and obtain the information on number of pumps installed so far in the country.

Officials said that Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had directed energy department to work out modalities in such a way that each and every farmer who has a solar pump set will get a benefit of minimum Rs 5,000 per year by using these pump sets. “In case of complete sale of solar power during drought periods to the power utilities, farmer should be benefitting from Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 per year.

This would also benefit power utilities with zero transmission and distribution losses. Even if there is 1 per cent reduction in T& D losses, that would result in savings of Rs 300 crore,” he said.

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