The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has issued a tender for 50,000 solar water pumping systems. These solar water pumps are to be installed at projects sites of identified farmers in the state.
The last date for bid submission has been fixed on January 16, 2019. The technical bids will open on January 17, 2018.
Recently, Maharashtra government announced that it will impose electricity surcharge of 10 paise (~$0.0014)/kWh on industrial and commercial consumers of electricity to help realize the installation of solar pumps across the state.
Many other states have also taken the initiative to solarize agriculture and have come up with tenders for solar water pumping systems.
In August 2018, the New & Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Ltd (NREDCAP) issued a tender for 25,000 off -grid solar PV water pumping systems. Out of 25,000 solar pumping systems, 20,000 were to be AC solar pump sets and 5,000 were to be equipped with DC motor.
In the same month, Himachal Pradesh cabinet approved ₹2.24 billion (~$32.6 million) for its ‘Saur Sinchayee Yojana’ program, which was aimed at providing 5,850 agricultural solar pumping sets to farmers in the hilly state.
Then in July 2018, the Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation Limited (TSREDCO) had invited a tender for the design, supply, installation, and commissioning of solar PV water pumping systems across the state.
In December 2017, the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) also issued a tender to procure and set up 1,013 five horsepower (hp) solar-powered water pumps.
India’s Minister for Power, R. K. Singh, on the issue of government initiatives taken for providing solar pumps, said in Lok Sabha recently, “During the financial year (FY) 2017-18, a total of 96,376 solar pumps were sanctioned in various states for both irrigation and drinking water purposes, and 10 percent of the pumps were sanctioned to the states to be utilized for drinking water purposes.”
A joint study by Greenpeace India, Gujarat Energy Research Management Institute (GERMI), and IWMI-Tata Water Policy Program predicted that if net-metered solar pumps are installed across all states for complete agricultural energy consumption, India would surpass its distributed solar goal of 40 GW by a wide margin.
Image credit: Vishwajeet