Rajasthan Launches Online Land Registration Portal for PM-KUSUM Program

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Rajasthan has formulated Saur Krishi Ajivika Yojna (SKAY) under Component C of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) to promote decentralized solar projects development at load centers having predominantly agriculture consumption in rural areas.

SKAY intends to utilize the state’s abundant land resources by allowing farmers and landowners to lease out their barren or unutilized land on a pre-determined lease basis for setting up solar projects.

The state’s distribution companies (DISCOMs) have developed a dedicated online portal where farmers can register their land to be leased out for solar projects. Project developers can also register themselves on the portal to reach out to the registered farmers.

The portal will act as a facilitator where interested farmers and developers can collaborate to arrange land for a solar power plant on a renewable energy service company (RESCO) mode, preferably within a 5 km radius of identified 33/11 kV substations.

DISCOMs have identified 33/11 kV substations having primarily agriculture consumers on their 11 kV feeders and assessed the substation-wise solar capacity to be installed in the vicinity of the substation. The list of identified substations with capacities and other important information will be available on the portal.

Interested parties can apply to register their land on the portal. The field office will verify the applications, along with a joint survey of the land and other credentials submitted with the application. Once a broad connectivity diagram from the land to the substation is prepared, the DISCOMs will float tenders to select RESCO developers for setting up solar projects.

If selected, developers would be eligible for central financial assistance (CFA) from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). DISCOMs will procure the power at the discovered levelized tariff for 25 years.

Developers must pay the agreed lease rent amount to the landowner during the project installation and commissioning phase, i.e., 9 months from the award of the contract. DISCOMs will pay the applicable land lease rent directly to the landowner. They will recover the same from the monthly energy payables to the developer after the commissioning of the solar project.

According to information shared in Parliament earlier this year, Rajasthan had the highest number of solar pump installations under the PM-KUSUM program. Rajasthan topped the list with 44,340 solar pumps installed out of the 76,210 approved, followed by Haryana, which installed 36,793 out of 39,326 approved. Punjab ranked third on the list, with 10,131 solar pumps installed out of 12,000 approved.

In May this year, MNRE issued a guideline eliminating the requirement to submit a performance bank guarantee for the solarization of agricultural feeders under Component C.