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63 farmers have registered to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) in Nashik allowing the use of farmer’s land for generating power with the help of solar panels. This comes under the Pradhan Mantri Kusum Yojana (PM-KUSUM scheme) of the central government to cut down the use and dependence on fossil fuels.
PM-KUSUM scheme (Component A) was launched with an aim to increase farmers’ income by using non-agricultural and barren land. Farmers will get a way to earn money through the selling of power generated with the help of solar energy projects. The power can be sold to MSEDCL or through leasing the land for the solar energy project. Solar power of 0.5 to 2 MWs will be generated in a decentralized manner.
The farmers of the gram panchayat, the Water Users’ Associations (WUAs), farmers’ cooperative societies, and Farmers Producers ‘Associations (FPOs) can develop solar energy power projects and use the electricity for their use or they can sell the power. Farmers can develop solar power through developers if they are not able to do so by any of the above due to financial constraints. An agreement between the farmers and the developer needs to be signed where farmers will get rent for their land. Solar power will be bought at Rs 3.10 per unit for the coming 25 years by the MSEDCL from the date of commencement of the scheme.