Mumbai: Solar power for agriculture scheme to act as game changer, says MSEDCL director & BJP leader Pathak

Mumbai: Solar power for agriculture scheme to act as game changer, says MSEDCL director & BJP leader Pathak

This is an ambitious scheme that aims at generation of 7000 MW of power for farmers and run 30% of agriculture feeders in each district on solar power by 2025, he added.

Abhijit MulyeUpdated: Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 08:46 PM IST
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Mumbai: Solar power for agriculture scheme to act as game changer, says MSEDCL director & BJP leader Pathak | Photo Credit: Pixabay

Mumbai: The new scheme offering solar power for agriculture will be a game changer as it will meet the farmers' demand of assured power supply during day time and even offer lower power rates for other consumers and thereby give a great boost to the state economy, independent director of MSEDCL and state BJP spokesperson Vishwas Pathak has said.

This is an ambitious scheme that aims at generation of 7000 MW of power for farmers and run 30% of agriculture feeders in each district on solar power by 2025, he added.

Mukhya Mantri Saur Krishi Vahini Yojana 2.0

"Power supply for the agricultural sector has several issues associated with it like subsidies and non-recovery of bills on the power distribution companies' side and non availability of power during daytime on the farmers' side. Solar power is the right remedy, but then availability of land was an issue. The new scheme - Mukhya Mantri Saur Krishi Vahini Yojana – 2.0' or MSKVY 2.0 addressed it by allowing farmers to give their land on lease to MSEDCL. Thereby they'll get a fixed income in the form of rent and would get power during daytime addressing their main concern," Pathak said, adding that this model can be a pioneering venture and can be repeated across India.

Although electricity is currently being supplied to agriculture at an average rate of Rs. 1.50 per unit, it is available to MSEDCL at average cost of Rs. 8.50 per unit. The tariff differential is covered by state government subsidies and cross subsidy burden levied on power tariff for industries. As the electricity obtained through solar energy will be available at a rate of around Rs. 3.30 per unit, the burden of cross subsidy on the industries will be reduced in the future and the industries and businesses will be supplied with electricity at a competitive rate, Pathak added.

MSEDCL has been entrusted with implementation of the scheme and so far, 1513 MW power purchase agreements have been signed under it. Of these 553 MW solar powergeneration projects have already been commissioned from which one lakh farmers on 230 agricultural feeders are being supplied with power for pumps during day time, Pathaksaid adding that power purchase agreements of another 764 MW are in pipeline.

This initiative has a potential to attract an investment of Rs 30,000 crore in the power generation sector in the state apart from creation of thousands of jobs in rural areas, he claimed. Farmers will get an opportunity to earn an annual rent of Rs.1.25 lakh per hectare by renting out land for the scheme, he pointed out.

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