Gujarat is all set to become the first state in the country to launch ‘Agro-Solar Policy’ under which farmers will be roped in to tap energy from sun which will also help them earn additional income from power generation companies, according to officials.
The policy is expected to be in place in the coming months and the state government will be working with the farmers to create a mutually beneficial energy production ecosystem. With this new system the state claims to empower the Indian farmer with not only a self-sustaining energy production system but also provide an alternate source of income.
The Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI) will be the managing the projects under this policy. The farmer will be able to produce energy locally without depending on the state and can also create a surplus.The farmers will get a chance to supplement their income by installing these Solar Photo Volatic (SPV) panels and selling the surplus to other private or government owned power generation companies.
According to the officials, this will be mutually beneficial structure as the farmer will have sufficient amount of energy as well as produce energy for the state without disturbing the agricultural produce.
“The state-run companies will set up Solar Photo Voltaic plants in different farms fields and experiments were conducted in different agricultural universities in the state,” Prof T Harinarayana, GERMI Director said.
"Generation Companies like Gujarat Industries Power Company Limited, GSECL Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited) and Gujarat Power Corporation Limited have set up SPV plants in farm fields on the experimental basis," he added.
The companies will place the SPVs on an elevated platform with the help of poles which will not occupy the land reserved for the produce.
The policy claims that the farmer will be paid 30-40 percent of the profit earned by selling the surplus electricity. If this new energy production system works out, other state governments will also adopt it and lessen the burden on the conventional non-renewable sources of energy.
Some other successful solar projects in Gujarat State has Asia’s largest solar power plant in Charanka village in Patan district which is built on a 2,000-hectare land. In January 2015, the first canal-top solar power plant (10 MW solar capacity) was inaugurated by UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon on Narmada canal in Vadodara.
Overall, the farmers will get a supplementary income as revenue will be shared by the power generation companies.Besides, the companies will get good space for electricity generation.