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MNRE expands scope of PM-KUSUM Scheme to enable greater solar energy generation in farm sector

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MNRE-expands-scope-of-PM-KUSUM-Scheme-to-enable-greater-solar-energy-generation-in-farm-sectorOn November 13, 2020, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has amended Guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyaan (PM-KUSUM) scheme based on learnings from implementation of the scheme during the first year (2019-2020). 

It has been amended to encourage greater solar energy generation in the farm sector.

PM-KUSUM Scheme:

MNRE launched the PM KUSUM Scheme for farmers for installation of solar pumps and grid connected solar and other renewable power plants in India.

Objective:

i.MNRE launched the PM KUSUM Scheme for farmers to install solar pumps, grid-connected solar & other renewable power plants in the country. It was also approved with an objective of providing financial and water security.

ii.It aimed to add solar and other renewable capacity of 25, 750 MW by 2022 with a Financial support of INR 34, 422 Crores which includes service charge to implementing agencies.

iii.It is one of the initiatives to double the farmer’s income by 2022.

Key Points:

The Scheme has 3 components – Component-A includes installation of Decentralized 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.

The list of amended guidelines are:

Amendments for Component-A:

i.Solar Power Plants can be installed on pasture land and marshy land of farmers. Earlier Solar Power Plants were installed only on barren, fallow and agricultural lands.

ii.Solar power projects smaller than 500 Kilowatts (KW) to be allowed by states based on techno-commercial feasibility to support small farmers.

iii.Size of the solar plant has been reduced to enable the participation of small farmers, the completion period has also been increased from nine to twelve months.

iv.No penalty shall be levied on Renewable Power Generator (RPG) for shortfall in solar power generation from minimum prescribed Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF).

Amendments for Component – B:

i.MNRE to retain 33% of eligible service charge for nation-wide Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities.

ii.The amendment has allowed joint ventures of manufacturers of solar pump/solar panel/solar pump controller with integrators in the Central Tender Process.

iii.Separate bid price for Solar water pumping system with Universal Solar Pump Controller (USPC) to be invited.

iv.USPC will not only run water pumps as well as run other electric equipment such as cold storage, battery charging, flour mill etc.  It will increase the income of the farmer.

v.As per new amendment, test certificate already available for a solar pumping system can be used for other installers provided the user obtains written consent from the owner of test certificate to use the same.

vi.The ministry may release 50% of eligible service charges for the sanctioned quantity after placement of Letter of Award (LoA) for preparatory activities.The order allows either one or both of the following two categories to participate in the centralised tendering:

  • Manufacturer of solar PV modules or manufacturer of solar pumps or manufacturer of solar pump controllers using indigenous technology.
  • Joint venture of any of the manufacturers mentioned above with system integrators.

Amendments for Component-C:

i.Individual farmers having grid connected agriculture pumps will be supported to solarize their pumps.

ii.Farmers will be provided solar panels which can be used to generate solar power to meet the irrigation needs and sell the surplus solar power. The DISCOMs (Distribution Company) will buy surplus power from the farmers at the predetermined rate to be decided by the respective State/SERC.

iii.For Grid connected pumps used by Water User Associations (WUA)/Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO)/Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS) or for cluster based irrigation system, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) will be allowed for solarisation of pump capacity higher than 7.5 Horse Power (HP) considering upto 5 HP capacity for each individual in the group.

Recent Related News:

i.On March 16, 2020 the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, New and Renewable Energy & Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Raj Kumar (R K) Singh launched a new website of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

ii.On January 5, 2020, As per Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), eight states namely Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab, and Karnataka finalized an action plan for Agriculture Export Policy (AEP) to enhance exports.

About Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE):

Minister of State (MoS), (Independent Charge) – Raj Kumar Singh

Headquarters – New Delhi