Recently, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued new guidelines for implementation of feeder-level solarisation under Component-C of the PM-KUSUM Scheme
Key highlights of the new guidelines
- Implementation: As per the new guidelines, the power distribution company (DISCOM) or power department will be the implementing agency for feeder-level solarisation in their respective areas.
- However, the state Government may appoint any other expert agency to help DISCOM for tendering and other related activities of installation of solar power plants for feeder level solarisation.
- Where agriculture feeders have already been separated the feeders may be solarised under the scheme
- This will lead to lower cost both in terms of capital and power. Feeders having major load for agriculture may also be considered for solarisation under the Scheme.
- The requirement of total annual power for an agriculture feeder will be assessed and a solar power plant of capacity that can cater to the requirement of annual power for that agriculture feeder can be installed either through CAPEX mode or RESCO mode, which will supply solar power to that feeder.
- For example, a feeder having an annual power requirement of say 10 lakh units, the power can be supplied by solar power plants of capacity around 600 kW with CUF of 19%.
- Higher or lower CUF, depending upon the average solar insolation available in the areas, may be considered for assessing solar power capacity.
- Feeder level solar power plant may be installed to cater to the requirement of power for a single feeder or for multiple agriculture feeders emanating from a distribution sub-station (DSS) to feed power at 11 kV or at the higher voltage level side of the DSS depending upon on factors like availability of land, technical feasibility, etc., and there is no cap of the capacity of solar power plant for feeder level solarisation.
- The DISCOMs may identify land near DSS, get ownership of land or its lease rights, provide connectivity at DSS and lay sub-transmission line between DSS and solar power plan
- Where agriculture feeders are not separated, loan for feeder separation will be available from NABARD/PFC/REC
- The savings on account of electricity subsidy on agriculture and the income from the surplus electricity generated by the solar power plant when it is not being used for irrigation can also be used to pay off the loan taken for feeder separation.
- The state may choose to install feeder level solar power plant of capacity higher than capacity required for supplying power to agriculture feeder.
- The additional solar power generated may be used for supplying nearby rural/urban loads during day time or alternatively stored/banked for supplying power during evening hours for lighting/induction cooking and other household purposes.
- Implementation under CAPEX Model: For installation of feeder level solar power plant CFA of 30% (50% in case of NE States, hilly states/UTs and Island UTs) will be provided by central Government and balance will be met through loan from NABARD/PFC/REC.
About PM KUSUM scheme
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme for farmers for installation of solar pumps and grid connected solar and other renewable power plants in the country.
The scheme aims to add solar and other renewable capacities of 25,750 MW by 2022 with total central financial support of Rs. 34,422 Crore including service charges to the implementing agencies.
The Scheme consists of three 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 Component-C of the PM-KUSUM scheme seeks to:
- Promote the use of solar energy to meet the irrigation needs, and
- Enable farmers to earn additional income by selling surplus solar power to the distribution companies (also known as net metering).
Under Component-C of PM-KUSUM Scheme solarisation of total 4 lakh grid connected pumps are targeted for sanction by 2020-21 and 50% of these are to be solarised through feeder level solarisation and balance 50% through individual pump solarisation.