Government of India approved a new scheme on solar pumps and grid-connected power plants. Government took this step to provide financial and water security to farmers.
The scheme has three components which together will add solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.:
- B: Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.
- A: Setting up of 1000 MW decentralized ground-mounted grid-connected renewable power plants.
- C: Establish the solar technology for 10 Lakh Grid-connected solar-powered agriculture pumps.
While the government will implement Component B in a full-fledged manner, it will implement A and C on a pilot basis on 1000 MW capacity.
Working of Scheme
Component A of the scheme allows individual farmer, cooperative, FPOs setting of solar power plants 500kW to 2MW. The distribution companies (Discoms) will purchase power from these plants. The government would offer procurement based incentive (PBI) to discoms. It will provide it for 40 paise per kWh or Rs 6.60 lakhs per MW per year, whichever is less. The scheme also suggests that there should be enough space and height of panel rows to continue farming on agricultural land.
Component B calls for the setting of a standalone solar pump of up to 7.5 HP capacity where there is no source of power. The central and state government will provide 60% of the tender cost (30 each) and farmer needs to pay only 40%. Besides, the government would give 2% of the cost of implementing agency. However, the scheme is only for replacing diesel pumps in areas where groundwater is below the minimum level. Similarly, under component C, the government will assist farmers in solar powering their grid-connected agricultural pumps. The permissible generation capacity of the solar plant is two times the pump capacity in kW
These schemes will ensure the reliable and pollution-free source of irrigation for farmers. Also, it would minimize the loss in transmission because of decentralized power plants near substations. Further, the scheme will provide a stable income to landowners for almost 25 years. Moreover, it will provide an opportunity to farmers for selling excess power to the grid, saving both water and electricity.
In conclusion, the scheme will prove beneficial to farmers and provide green energy thereby protecting the environment.