The Devendra Fadnavis-led Indian state government has devised an ambitious plan to give out 10,000 solar powered water pumps to agriculturists this year to reduce the cross subsidy burden on industrial consumers and consequently, their electricity tariffs. According to the plan, farmers may be able to earn extra money by pumping in electricity from their solar-powered pumps into the state grid. The lowering of power rates will serve as a boost to the industries in Maharashtra. These solar powered pumps will also reduce input costs in farming as farmers will not have to pay electricity bills.
These pumps will be off-grid, which means that they will not be connected to the state electricity grid and hence, will be unable to draw or pump power into it. However, the state government is now evaluating a pilot project which will equip farmers with grid-connected solar pumps, which will enable them to pump in surplus power into the state grid after their needs have been met. This harvesting of sunlight for decentralized power generation will provide already distressed agriculturists with additional disposable incomes.
Official have stated that the 10,000 off-grid solar pumps will be installed in farmsteads by early next year. The pumps will be installed at 14 locations by 28 vendors.