The government is trying to add 4,000 to 5,000 MW of solar power to the grid in the next 18 months, according to Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar. Speaking to reporters after a meeting of solar power developers here, the Minister said the proposed addition would include 2,000 MW of power from the solar park to be developed at Pavagada in Tumakuru district. “Our priority is to complete at the earliest various solar power projects that have been either sanctioned or in the process of implementation,” Mr. Shivakumar said.
Pointing out that power from the proposed solar plants would be available during the off-peak hours of daytime, the Minister said the government had decided to supply power to farmers. Presently, farmers get most part of the three-phase power for operating their irrigation pump sets during night. However, he refused to commit on whether the government would consider increasing the number of hours of supply of three-phase power to farmers after the completion of the projects.
Mr. Shivakumar held a meeting with the developers of these projects, including farmers who are setting up small solar plants in their farms and various companies executing their solar projects in the State. A large number of developers, especially farmers, alleged that it had become difficult for them to get various land-related documents from the taluk and grassroot-level offices including village panchayats.