The State Government has commenced preparation for setting up 51,000 solar powered irrigation pumps in a span of two-and-half-years in the State.
The government has set the target of setting up 11,000 solar pumps in the current financial year till March 2017 and the rest during the next two years.
This was announced in the review meeting chaired by Additional Chief Secretary, Energy Department, N Baijendra Kumar in a meeting of the officials of Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA) in Raipur on Saturday.
The Systems Integrators who would establish the solar energy systems also participated in the meeting.
Kumar also informed in the meeting that very soon a Toll Free number would also be established for the farmers under the project.
Notably, Chhattisgarh is planning to add 2640 MW of additional renewable energy capacity by financial year 2018-19, officials informed.
The State currently has total renewable energy potential of 4,500 MW which includes solar (grid connected and roof top), wind biomass and small hydro.
The State has also planned to install solar powered pump sets for agriculture consumers which will benefit 16,000 consumers.
It may be recalled that there are significantly more number of villages which are to be electrified in Chhattisgarh using the off-grid (solar) mode than the grid-based (conventional power supply) mode.
As per the latest data available with the Union Ministry of Power, a total of 543 villages have to be electrified under ‘off-grid’ mode compared to 101 through the conventional power supply grid as on May 31, 2016.
The State will soon also launch a ‘Solar Community Irrigation Project’ for drawing water extracted using solar pumps for supplying to the agricultural land of farmers across the State.
The pipeline extension project to be executed by Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency ) would be undertaken shortly, officials informed.
Notably , the Central government last year had approved Raipur and Bilaspur to be developed as ‘Solar cities’ in Chhattisgarh.
So far, 55 existing cities in 27 States/UTs are being developed as solar cities in the country under ‘Development of Solar Cities Programme’, senior government officials stated.
In fact, Raipur city was the only among nine other cities in the country which was chosen by the Centre among the ‘Pilot Solar Cities’ for implementation of its ambitious ‘Development of Solar Cities Programme’ in 2013-14,as per the 2013-14 annual report of the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for 2013-14.
The Chhattisgarh Government last month had informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi that solar pumps are helping provide clean drinking water in remote and insurgency-infested areas in Chhattisgarh’s South Bastar region.
Notably, the Prime Minister discussed various related issues with the Chief Secretaries of several states including Jharkhand, Telangana, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday while chairing his thirteenth interaction through PRAGATI – the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation, officials informed.
The Prime Minister reviewed the progress towards installation of solar pumps across the country. It was noted that solar pumps with a total capacity of 208 MW have already been installed so far across the country.
In the beginning, the Prime Minister reviewed the progress towards handling and resolution of consumer grievances.
The Prime Minister also reviewed the progress of vital infrastructure projects in the road, railway, power, coal and mining sectors, spread over several states including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Odisha, and Uttarakhand.