NEW DELHI: The government on Friday issued guidelines for implementation of feeder-level solarisation under the PM-KUSUM scheme after consultation with state governments. In February 2019, the government had approved the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) scheme to provide financial and water security to farmers through harnessing solar energy capacities of 25.75 gigawatt (GW) by 2022.
PM-KUSUM scheme Component-C provides for solarisation of grid-connected agriculture pumps. After consultation with states, it was decided to also allow feeder-level solarisation where instead of putting solar panels at each individual agriculture pump, a single solar power plant of capacity adequate to supply power to an agriculture feeder or multiple feeders will be installed.
This feeder-level solarisation would ensure economies of scale and better efficiency.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said, "Based on discussions held with states it has been decided to also include feeder level solarisation under Component-C of PM-KUSUM Scheme."
The scheme consists of three components. Component-A includes installation of decentralised ground mounted grid connected renewable power plants, Component-B includes installation of standalone solar powered agriculture pumps and Component-C includes solarisation of grid-connected agriculture pumps.
According to the statement, the distribution company (discom)/power department will be the implementing agency for feeder-level solarisation in their respective areas as per the guidelines.
The state may choose to install feeder-level solar power plants of capacity higher than capacity required for supplying power to agriculture feeder.
The additional solar power generated may be used for supplying nearby rural/urban loads during daytime or alternatively stored/banked for supplying power during evening hours for lighting/induction cooking and other household purposes.
For installation of feeder-level solar power plant, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) of 30 per cent (50 per cent in case of northeastern states, hilly states/UTs and island UTs) will be provided by the central government and balance will be met through loans from NABARD/PFC/REC, it said.
The developers will be selected on the basis of lowest tariff offered for supply of required solar power for a period of 25 years for installation of feeder-level solar power plants through RESCO (Renewable Energy Service Company) model.
The MNRE further said that under Component-C of PM-KUSUM scheme, solarisation of 4 lakh grid-connected pumps are targeted for sanction by 2020-21. Also, 50 per cent of these are to be solarised through feeder level solarisation and balance through individual pump solarisation.
The ministry also said it will be mandatory to use indigenously manufactured solar panels with indigenous solar cells and modules.