Telangana government: plans for seven hours of solar and two hours of thermal power to agricultural fields

The Telangana government is considering a plan to supply seven hours of power to farms through solar projects. An action plan will be submitted to the government for seven hours of solar and two hours of thermal power to agricultural fields, a senior official of Telangana energy department said.

“Agricultural pump sets needed to be replaced with solar ones by the Rabi season. For this, we would like to use the Rs 500 crore loan given by the Power Finance Corporation, but this needs ratification from the government,” the official stated.

The Telangana government has informed the Central power ministry, which visited the state to get the actual power position for the proposed 24x7 PFA scheme, that it has 20 lakh agricultural pump sets. But it is a gigantic task to convert all pump sets into solar ones, a power expert said.

According to statistics, agricultural consumption is expected to be 7,528 million units in the year 2015-16. In an attempt to rope in more players, the Telangana government has put a district-wise ceiling on the generation of solar power. Nalgonda has been awarded projects up to 600 MW followed by Medak with 500 MW. The ceiling for other districts (except Ranga Reddy) was 400 MW each.

Telangana has recently started solar projects with a generating capacity of 550 MW. It has also invited tenders for the purchase of 2,000 MW solar power.

The tariff was approved by the government earlier but several companies have stated that it cannot meet their expenses. They demanded a rate of Rs 7 per kWh. The discoms will be convening a pre-bid meeting on April 10 with prospective bidders at the TSSPDCL office.