Maharashtra state government after proposing projects on rooftops of Metro railways now planning a policy for distributed generation of solar power for agricultural consumers.
Under the state’s new and renewable energy policy, 7,500MW of grid-connected solar power capacity to be added in Maharashtra. The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (MahaGenco) will generate 2,500MW, with the rest to be provided by the Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA).
“Of this 2,500MW, 1,000MW will be through private public partnership (PPP) on government land, 500MW by engineering procurement construction (EPC) contracts, 500MW under the Centre’s solar parks schemes, another 250MW by agricultural feeders and 250MW through innovative ideas, such as solar panels on irrigation canals and Metro railways,” said a senior MahaGenco official.
“We are working on a policy for agricultural feeders. Many agricultural feeders are supplied power at night and not during the day. We may identify agricultural feeders with a heavy power demand and install solar panels to supply energy to these farmers even in the day. This will reduce the load on the state’s grid, and allow agriculturists to use their pumps to water their fields even during the day,” he added.
Now, agricultural connections get power for 8 hours in the day or 10 hours in the night. Since agriculture consumers are heavily subsidised, this use of solar energy will reduce the cross subsidy burden on industrial consumers and consequently their electricity tariffs.