About Rs 1,970 cr to be spent to install one lakh solar-powered agri pumps

The Maharashtra Cabinet on Wednesday approved the solar electrification of agricultural pump power connections to supply electricity to farmers in a reliable, cost-effective and day-to-day manner. One lakh solar pumps in the first phase will be set up with the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Kusum Yojana in Maharashtra.

The installation of one lakh solar pumps is expected to cost Rs 1,969.50 crore and 30 per cent or Rs 585 crore will be provided by the Centre and Rs 173 crore by the beneficiaries. The state will contribute Rs 1,211 crore.

It was approved to raise funds through budget allocation of Rs 436 crore and additional power sales tax of Rs 775 crore for the next five years. The scheme will be implemented through the Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MahaUrja).

Three components were fixed in this plan. Component ‘A’ comprises setting up of solar power projects with 300 mw capacity and subsequently increasing the generation capacity to 5,000 mw. The power generated will be supplied at Rs 3.30 per unit. If there will be demand for power projects with higher capacity of the sub-station, the MahaVitaran will enter into power purchase agreement for 25 years.

Component ‘B’ consists of installing one lakh solar agri pumps of the total 5 lakh without transmission. Under component ‘C’, the farmers can use the energy generated to meet irrigation needs while the remaining energy will be sold to MahaVitaran.

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