mnre-expands-scope-of-pm-kusum-scheme-to-enable-greater-solar-energy-generation-in-farm-sector

Context: MNRE has amended implementation Guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyaan (PM-KUSUM) Scheme.

About KUSUM Scheme 

  • The scheme aims to provide energy security along with financial and water security to farmers. 
  • It would encourage farmers to generate solar power in their farms and use the clean energy to replace their diesel water pumps. 
  • It targets to add decentralised solar power capacity of 25,750 megawatt by 2022.

Components of the scheme:

  1. Component A: 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants of individual plant size up to 2 MW. 
    1. Under this component, renewable energy based power plants (REPP) of capacity 500 kW to 2 MW will be setup by individual farmers/ group of farmers/ cooperatives/ panchayats/ Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO)/Water User associations (WUA) on barren/fallow land. 
    2. These power plants can also be installed on cultivable land on stilts where crops can also be grown below the solar panels. 
    3. The renewable energy power project will be installed within five km radius of the sub-stations in order to avoid high cost of sub-transmission lines and to reduce transmission losses. 
    4. The power generated will be purchased by local DISCOM at pre-fixed tariff.
  2. Component B: Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps of individual pump capacity up to 7.5 HP. 
  3. Under this Component, individual farmers will be supported to install standalone solar Agriculture pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP for replacement of existing diesel Agriculture pumps / irrigation systems in off-grid areas, where grid supply is not available. Pumps of capacity higher than 7.5 HP can also be installed, however, the financial support will be limited to 7.5 HP capacity.
  4. Component C: Solarisation of 10 Lakh Grid-connected Agriculture Pumps of individual pump capacity up to 7.5 HP. 
    1. Under this Component, individual farmers having grid connected agriculture pump will be supported to solarise pumps. 
    2. The farmer will be able to use the generated solar power to meet the irrigation needs and the excess solar power will be sold to DISCOMs at pre-fixed tariff.

Benefits of the scheme:

  • Doubling farmer’s income: stable and continuous source of income to the rural landowners for a period of 25 years by utilisation of their dry/uncultivable land. 
  • Power to all:KUSUM would ensure that sufficient local solar/ other renewable energy based power is available for feeding rural load centres and agriculture pump-set loads, which require power mostly during the day time.
  • The scheme will also help the Discoms to achieve the RPO target.

Amendments/clarifications for Component-A

  1. Besides barren, fallow and agricultural land, solar power plants can also be installed on pasture land and marshy land of farmers.
  2. To support small farmers, the solar power projects smaller than 500 kW may be allowed by States based on techno-commercial feasibility.
  3. The selected Renewable Power Generator (RPG) shall commission the solar power plant within twelve months from date of issuance of Letter of Award (LoA).
  4. There shall be no penalty to RPG for shortfall in solar power generation from minimum prescribed Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF).

Amendments/clarifications for Component-B

  • MNRE will retain 33% of eligible service charges for nation-wide Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities. 
    • Eligibility for participation in the centralised tender has also been amended. During last bid, only solar pump and solar panel manufacturers were allowed to participate in the bid considering quality and post installation services for next five years. 
    • During implementation it has been observed that these manufacturers lacking workforce in the field and are dependent on local integrators for this purpose, which has caused delay in installation of solar pumps.

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 manufacturers mentioned at (a) above with system integrators.
  • Standalone solar pumps are used only for 100-150 days in a year and solar energy generated during balance period is not utilised. 
  • In order to make effective use of solar energy it was proposed to introduce USPC, which will not only run the water pump but can also run other electric equipment  cold storage, battery charging, flour mill, etc. 
  • Installation of USPC will increase the income of farmer, which is the aim of the PM-KUSUM Scheme.

 Amendments/clarifications for Component-C

  • As part of Component-C Ministry will also use 33% of service charges for IEC activities. 
  • MNRE may release 50% of eligible service charges for the sanctioned quantity after placement of LoA for preparatory activities.”

Image source: ZeeNews