A business that deals with water pumping systems, Shakti Pumps, has obtained a Letter of Empanelment from the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to supply 50,000 off-grid solar photovoltaic water pumping systems throughout Maharashtra.
The purchase is made according to with Component-B of the third phase of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program.
The project is expected to be finished in 24 months at a total cost of ₹16.03 billion ($192.4 million), GST included.
In order to solve pressing issues with energy, agriculture, and water resources, the PM-KUSUM program was created.
“This move will relieve DISCOMs of the burden of subsidy loss,” stated Mr. Dinesh Patidar, Chairman of Shakti Pumps. As part of this work, solar pumps will be improved for farmers who submitted for and were awaiting an electrical connection. Depending on the season, these farmers either relied solely on diesel pumps for irrigation or only produced one type of crop. These farmers can now work their land throughout the year without worrying about running out of water, and they may boost agricultural productivity by using micro-irrigation methods in line with the “Per Drop More Crop” philosophy.
In the agricultural sector, solar pumps are a crucial component of the management strategy for water resources. These tools give farmers a dependable and environmentally responsible option by utilizing solar energy. They lessen their reliance on traditional grid-based electricity by allowing them to draw water for residential, livestock, and agricultural usage.
The Uttar Pradesh Department of Agriculture has issued a letter of award to Shakti Pumps for the provision, installation, and commissioning of 10,000 solar pumps for the Component B PM-KUSUM program.
According to R.K. Singh, Minister of Power, as of February 28, 2023, over 200,000 farmers had benefited from the PM-KUSUM scheme. Component-A of the program has seen the installation of 89.45 MW of solar capacity. Under Component-B and Component-C, 209,000 pumps have been reported as installed or solarized. The program’s total installed solar capacity was 1.14 GW.
The initiative was evaluated independently by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), following which it was extended through March 31, 2026.
The Ministry has made the decision to extend until March 31, 2024 the relaxation of the local content criteria for solar cells used in projects funded by the program.
The Ministry extended solar projects under Component A of the program until September 30, 2023, citing the challenges farmers had in obtaining financing during the initial stage.