The Andhra Pradesh cabinet has approved the proposal to develop a 10 GW mega solar power project for the benefit of the farmers in the state. The project will supply nine hours of continuous power to the farmers during the daytime, besides establishing an Integrated Renewable Energy Project (IREP).
According to the Press Trust of India (PTI), the Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah said that as a part of the IREP, 550 MW of wind power, 1,200 MW of hydropower and 1,000 MW of solar energy would be generated. IREP refers to the concept of integrating more than one renewable energy source in developing projects.
Also, the state government would be earning revenue of ₹320 million (~$4.2 million) through the green energy development charge.
In February 2020, Mercom had reported that the Andhra Pradesh government had announced that it was planning to develop 10 GW of solar power projects as a permanent solution to supply free power to the farmers in the state. It was also reported that the government currently incurs more than ₹100 billion (~$1.39 billion) to meet the agriculture subsidy, lift irrigation power charges, and aquaculture subsidy every year. To meet the subsidies sustainably, the government felt that there is a need for evolving an alternative mechanism to provide quality power and a nine-hour daytime free power supply to farmers.
Earlier, the state government had decided to form Andhra Pradesh Green Energy Corporation Limited (APGECL) for the installation of these 10 GW of solar projects for the state’s agricultural sector. The APGECL would be a 100% subsidiary of Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Company Limited (APGENCO). Until the time APGECL generates its income, the entire expenditure for running the company will be borne by APGENCO. The amount will be reimbursed to APGENCO, once it begins to generate its income.
Under the IREP concept, Greenko recently announced a 1,260 MW pumped storage project. Greenko is constructing two integrated renewable energy storage projects in Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka with a total pumped storage capacity of 2,460 MW. These projects are expected to harness the power of solar and wind resources with digitally connected storage infrastructure to provide scheduled and flexible power to the grid.
According to Mercom India Solar Project Tracker, Andhra Pradesh has 3.7 GW of large-scale solar projects in operation, and approximately 1.3 GW capacity is under the development pipeline as of Q1 2020.
Image credit: APSPCL
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.