A giant solar energy plant cum storage battery system with a capacity of five megawatts (MW) is coming up at Makkuva in Vizianagaram district to provide electricity for farm motor pumps falling under AP Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL).
The energy generated from the solar plant will be supplied to agriculture pump sets in the day and surplus power will be stored in the batteries. Lithium ion batteries will be used to store unused power.
The state government has planned two such units with a total capacity of six MW on a pilot basis — one in Vizianagaram of five MW and another with one MW capacity at Kassumarra in Nellore district.
Twenty five acres of land has to be identified in Makkuva to set up the massive plant, the likes of which are yielding good results in Germany and US.
Nearly 2,000 farming consumers could be brought under the solar plant. The state is spending Rs 5 per unit to supply free power to the agriculture consumers as of now.
The department of energy has planned to complete the project within six months from the start of the tendering process and wants to ready the project before the onset of next year’s summer.
Setting up the solar plant is among a host of reforms that the government has planned to bring about in the the power sector. Andhra Pradesh will be the first state in the country as well to have a system of solar energy-stored power supply for agriculture.
The chief minister came to know of the system during his recent visit to the US.
“AP Transco will float tenders to invite bids for the 5MW project at Vizianagaram and 1MW project at Nellore. It will materialise soon,” energy secretary Ajay Jain said.
The successful bidder will have to install solar power panels to generate power. The AP discom will purchase the requisite power from the solar plant and divert it to the agriculture pump sets.
“We have selected Makkuva in Vizianagaram district as it has vast government land as well as sufficient solar radiation,” the discom official said.