Karnataka government is going to launch Surya Raitha Scheme to provide solar water pump sets to the farmers. Subsequently, the state govt. will replace the existing irrigation pump sets (IP Pumps) with these solar water pumps in order to produce excess energy. Accordingly, govt. will launch this scheme on the pilot basis in Kanakapura on 19 January 2018.
In the initial phase, Karnataka govt. will replace 310 IP sets with solar water pump sets. These solar pumps have around 1.5 times the capacity to pump more water than the existing IP Pump Sets. Moreover, these pumps will supply 1/3rd of the total energy generated to the nearby electricity grid (assembly).
Earlier, the state govt. announces this scheme in the FY 2014 to fulfill the need of day time power supply for farmers.
Surya Raitha Scheme
Surya Raitha Scheme helps farmers in irrigation purposes as the farmers need not switch on their IP Sets during night. Subsequently, the solar water pumps keep a check on the power and water wastage. Karnataka govt. will launch this scheme through funds collected from combination of farmers investment, Central & State govt. subsidy and soft-loans from Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM).
BESCOM will recover the loan amount through the cost of excess energy exported in the grid. After the recovery of loan amount, BESCOM will deposit the excess amount in farmers bank account. Accordingly, the payback period will be around 12 to 14 years as the amount of generated electricity and its utilization will take this amount of time.
Karnataka Electricity Regulation Commission (KERC) will fix the tariff plans and thus the net meter revenues will get deposited in the Escrow Account. Govt. will use this tariff for repayment of loan, generation based incentives and also provide certain amount to the society for maintenance.
Under this scheme, BESCOM will perform the following functions:-
- Creation of Farmer’s Cooperatives.
- Subsequently, BESCOM will also provide channel subsidies.
- To provide soft-loans to the farmers.
- Signing Power Purchase Agreements for a span of 25 years.
- To ensure proper power supply to the Pump Sets.
Moreover, farmers will have to give shadow free lands to successfully install such systems. In addition to this, farmers will have to safeguard the installed solar photo-voltaic (PV) system.
Surya Raitha Scheme – Kanakapura: Karnataka govt. will form “Harobele Surya Raitha Vidyuthchakthi Balakedarara Sangha Niyamitha Society” for the successful implementation of this pilot project. The primary task of this society is to get payment from BESCOM and distribute these funds among the farmers.
Benefits of Surya Raitha Scheme
The farmers can avail the following benefits:-
- Increase in the Agricultural Production.
- Steady and Sufficient power supply during daytime.
- Steady Source of Income for Farmers even in the adverse climatic conditions.
This scheme will eliminate the need of providing energy subsidy to the farmers. Furthermore, solar water pump scheme will also reduce the BESCOM’s infrastructure cost and will also minimize their demand and technical loss.