Towards the renewable energy utilization, the Andhra Pradesh Government has taken the initiative to introduce the solar powered pump sets for irrigating the agriculture farms. Now the Sun will be helping the AP farmers.
According to sources, the numbers of agriculture connections across the state is 17.20 lakh and the state government has agreed recently to allot Rs 6,030.17 crore this year as subsidy for them. Besides, 1.84 lakh agriculture connections have already been in pending.
The energy department has also decided to streamline agriculture connections based on the targets set by APERC in the tariff order for 2018-19. Any further increase in sales (issue of agriculture connections) more than the stipulated quantum should be done after seeking permission from the government.”
India that all the superintending engineers have been issued orders to try to categorize all new connections coming up in the state to solar once the existing target for agriculture sector is exhausted. The government is now giving 50,000 agriculture connections per a year on subsidy tariff.
He also said that demand for new agriculture connections has been increasing by the day. The demand is very high in Prakasam, Kurnool and Anantapur districts where farmers are facing drought conditions.
The energy department has decided to install 250 pump sets on a pilot bases in Vizianagaram district and implement the ‘Grid connected Solar BLDC Pump sets’ initially in Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts. “The officials have already completed study over the new scheme in Chhattisgarh where the solar pump set scheme is under implementation,” the official said. The State Government is planning to divert all new agriculture connections coming up in the state to solar using the new scheme for farmers ‘Grid connected Solar BLDC pump sets’.
Adani group may get the contract of supplying solar pump sets to the state. The group reportedly submitted lowest quote for supplying 3 HP pump sets. The officials said the proposal of diverting the agriculture connections to solar could help to reduce the subsidy burden for agriculture connections and ensure daytime power supply, which is considered cost effective.
We have been given instructions to clear paid pending agriculture connection applications which do not require erection of additional distribution transformers on priority. The total paid pending applications are around 60,000 only of the total pending applications of 1.84 lakh,” a senior official of energy department said.
In this background, the officials have been given orders to place all new connections coming up in the state in solar category. “We will ask the farmers henceforth why not they take solar pump sets. We will push all the agriculture connections in to solar category irrespective of 50,000 target per year,” the official said.
However, advisor to the State Government (Energy) K Ranganatham opined that farmer would get day time power with solar pump set with no need to wait for APTransco for new connections. “It will be a win-win situation for farmers and discoms too,” he said.
The Adani group has reportedly quoted lowest price of Rs 3.35 lakh for 3 HP pump set and Junna Powers quoted Rs 4.29 lakh for 5 HP pump set. “The APEPDCL was requested to negotiate with the bidders to bring the cost further down and also ask the other bidders to match up to the lowest bid,” the senior official said.