The Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of New and Renewable Energy (DNRE) of Goa to implement India’s first convergence project in the state.
Under its convergence initiative, EESL will provide solarized agriculture feeders, battery energy storage systems, and LED street lights in local villages. It is also leveraging its carbon financing mechanism to bolster sustainable rural infrastructure to create a resilient and sustainable rural community in India. Gram UJALA, Decentralized Solar, and Gram Panchayat Street Light programs are presently included in EESL’s climate financing interventions.
As per the MoU, EESL and DNRE are expected to carry out feasibility studies to implement the decentralized solar energy projects in the state. EESL will utilize the land provided by gram panchayats or electricity boards to install around 100 MW of decentralized ground-mounted solar power projects, which will be used for agricultural pumping. The solar projects, with capacities between 500 kW to 2 MW, will be installed near substations that will allow the distribution companies (DISCOMs) to supply power during the day time and decrease transmission losses.
Under the convergence project, 6,300 agricultural pumps will be replaced with BEE star rated energy efficient pumps. Besides that, 1.6 million light-emitting diodes (LED) bulbs will be distributed to rural domestic households in the state.
“The project will accrue savings of ₹25.74 billion (~$346.04 million) to the state over a period of 25 years while improving the health of DISCOMs and providing cleaner power. This project will provide clean day time electricity to farmers as well as energy-efficient pump sets, which would reduce the power consumption and transmission and distribution (T&D) losses associated with transmitting power to agriculture and rural feeder networks,” said Nilesh Cabral, Power Minister of Goa.
According to the press statement, the project will stimulate the usage of renewable energy sources for rural and agricultural power consumption in Goa. It will also help reduce peak energy demand with the deployment of energy-efficient lighting and pumping.
“When we started the PM-KUSUM program, this is what was in our mind to restart fresh green revolution in the agriculture sector. This model is expected to be adopted by the other states as this will reduce losses in terms of expenditure on the water for farm sectors runs into tens of thousands of crores in several states. That preempts state spending on health, education, and other important sectors,” said R.K Singh, Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India.
Decentralized solar systems have great potential to transform India’s agricultural sector. Lately, some states have turned toward solar to help their farmers in achieving energy efficiency. Recently, Andhra Pradesh announced its plans to develop 10 GW of solar power capacity to supply nine hours of daytime free power to the agriculture sector.
Similarly, Uttarakhand has planned 10,000 solar projects totaling 250 MW to create income opportunities for youth and small farmers.