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Punjab To Solarise One Lakh Agri Tube Wells

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Punjab’s minister for new and renewable energy sources Aman Arora on Monday said the government has decided to solarise one lakh existing electric agriculture tube wells in the state.

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This ambitious project will save around Rs 200 crore per annum on account of power subsidy, besides going a long way to save the natural resources, he further said.

“The energy sector is transitioning in an unprecedented way and this revolutionary step will pave a way to ensure cheaper and green energy,” said the minister.

With the implementation of this project, Punjab will avail four major benefits, including reduction in the burden of subsidy on the state exchequer, reducing demand of power supply and also input cost of agriculture.

He further said that the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) has already invited bids for selection of Solar Power Generators (SPGs) for feeder level solarisation of 25,000 grid-connected agriculture pumps.

The state government provides free power to 13.88 lakh farmers of the state for their grid-connected tube wells for irrigation and bears the expenditure of about Rs 7,000 crore as subsidy.

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The Cabinet minister said a proposal for solarisation of one lakh grid-connected electric tube wells had been sent to the Union ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE). The central government accepted it and allocated the target of one lakh pumps to the state.

Arora said presently the agriculture power tariff is Rs 5.66 per unit and after solarisation of these one lakh tube wells, rate per unit would be much lower resulting in saving of government’s subsidy to the tune of Rs 200 crore annually.

The union government will provide a subsidy of Rs 1.05 crore per MW for setting up solar power plants for solarisation of the tube wells, said chief executive of PEDA Sumeet Jarangal.

Solar power plants of capacity around 215 MW will be set up for solarisation of one lakh pumps with a total cost of about Rs 1,030 crore, he said. Of which, Rs 804 crore will be generated from private investors, while the central government as its share will pay Rs 226 crore as subsidy, he added.

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