Farmers in Andhra Pradesh will soon be producing electricity apart from growing crops. The State Energy Department is set to launch the scheme ‘Solar Farming’, the first-of-its-kind in the country, under which existing pump sets will be replaced with energy- efficient solar pump sets that will enable generation of power. After utilising the power required for drawing water to his field, the farmer could pump the remaining energy into the grid and thereby earn income.
A farmer could generate about 9000 units of power from a solar pump set per annum, taking an average of 300 sunny days. “We will fix a price for this power after discussing with the power regulator. This will be an extra income to the farmer,” Principal Secretary (Energy and Infrastructure) Ajay Jain has said.
Government of India’s Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) would be the implementing agency for this scheme. “The EESL is now preparing a detailed project report for the scheme and we are talking to funding agencies for the money. We require about Rs 3,000 crore to launch this scheme,” Jain said.
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Each 5 HP solar pump set that used to cost Rs 5 lakh previously, is now available for Rs 3.2 lakh and the price is expected to drop further.
The Centre would provide 30 per cent subsidy for these pump sets.
In the first phase, the AP Energy Department will start replacing one lakh pump sets from May this year. “Under the scheme, there will be no cost to the farmer. Moreover, he will be making money by generating power besides fulfilling his energy requirement,” the principal secretary pointed out.