Rajasthan first to complete farmers' selection for solar plants

The Centre’s Kisan Urja Suraksha Utthan Maha Abhiyaan (KUSUM) scheme envisages income generation for farmers from their infertile or semi-barren land.

Rajasthan has become the first State to complete the selection of farmers for installation of solar power plants at their land with the capacity exceeding the targets set by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation (RREC) has allotted 722 MW plants to 623 farmers under the Centre’s scheme.

The Centre’s Kisan Urja Suraksha Utthan Maha Abhiyaan (KUSUM) scheme envisages income generation for farmers from their infertile or semi-barren land. While the farmers can sell the power generated from the solar plants to discoms, the solar pumps can also be installed for irrigation of agricultural land.

RREC chairman and Principal Secretary (Energy) Ajitabh Sharma said here on Thursday that the farmers would get regular income from their solar power plants of 0.5 MW to 2 MW capacity for the next 25 years. “The solar plants with the highest capacity are going to be installed in Rajasthan,” he said.

The availability of power near the sub-stations will also help reduce transmission losses as well as expenses for expansion of infrastructure of discoms. Mr. Sharma said the 2019-20 State Budget had set the target for installation of 2,600 MW solar plants on the farmers’ land during the next three years. The tenders for 1,878 MW power in the next phase will be issued shortly.

Mr. Sharma said the discoms would purchase power from the farmers at ₹3.14 per unit, which was higher than the rate given through auctions. The farmers who do not have money to invest can lease out their land to private developers and receive an annual income.

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