Nagpur: MSEDCL has started converting agricultural feeders to solar. Initially, 500 MW load will go solar. Energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has decided to convert entire farm pump load to solar by 2025.
A source in the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co (MSEDCL) said in the first phase solar plants will be set up for agricultural feeders having load of 200 MW. “In the next phase, 300 MW will go solar. We have issued letters of agreement (LoAs) to two agencies for 150 MW and 50 MW.
The solar projects in the first phase will be completed in 2018, while the second phase will be over by 2019. Once these projects are completed, farmers will get power during the day instead of night hours,” he added.
Simultaneously, Mahagenco is also setting up solar power plants. “Agreements have been signed with developers for 20 MW at Gavhankund. Plants having capacity between 2 MW and 7 MW will be set up in Kuhi, Yerad, Anjangaon-Bari and Yeoti. MSEDCL is erecting substations for these plants,” he said.
Mahagenco is setting up two 2 MW solar plants at Ralegan Siddhi (district Ahmednagar) and Kolambi (district Yavatmal). “On August 24, commissioning tests were held and now more technical tests are being conducted. The power purchase agreement (PPA) between Mahagenco and MSEDCL has been signed. These projects have been jointly executed by MSEDCL, Mahagenco and Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA),” the official said.
While MSEDCL is going in for solar feeders, it has failed to meet the target of installing solar farm pumps set by Bawankule. The minister wanted the discom to install 10,000 solar pumps by December 2017. However, the company has installed only 5,637 pumps so far. In the last five months, it had installed only 400 pumps.
The company, however, has succeeded in getting solar energy at lowest ever rates. It has tied up for 1,000 MW at around Rs2.70 per unit while tenders have been floated for another 1,000 MW.