TN farmers to get 90% subsidy for solar-powered pump sets

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Farmers in Tamil Nadu can avail themselves of 90 per cent subsidy for solar-powered irrigation pump sets if they exit the waiting list for farm connections.

The State government will give 1,000 solar-powered irrigation pump sets of 5, 7.5 and 10 HP under a model programme to farmers across the State. These off grid units will be available with 40 per cent State government subsidy, 20 per cent from the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy; 30 per cent from Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation and the farmer’s share will be 10 per cent.

This scheme will be implemented at a cost of ₹15 crore, said the Electricity Minister P Thangamani replying to the demand for grants to his Department. To avail this benefit, farmers will have to apply for irrigation pump sets under the seniority scheme.

Tatkal scheme

The government will also offer Tatkal scheme in which farmers can get conventional agriculture connection within six months of application. They will have to shell out ₹2.5 lakh for a 5HP motor connection; ₹2.75 lakh for a 7.5 HP motor supply; and ₹3 lakh for a 10 HP supply. The connection will be provided within six months for 10,000 applicants, he said.

Solar park

The government also plans to establish a 500 MW solar park through a private player; and a mobile app will also be developed for power consumers to pay their utility bills, the Minister said.

Moving the Demand for Grants to the Energy Department, the Minister said the average power demand in Tamil Nadu ranges around 13,750 MW to 14,250 MW and the average demand will increase to 15,250 MW by the end of 2017-18. This can be met from the existing conventional power sources, including medium- and long-term power purchases, and independent and captive power plants which total over 18,732 MW. There is also an additional 10,479 MW from renewable energy.

Tamil Nadu will remain a power surplus state with 6,200 MW of ongoing power generation projects and about 9,300 MW planned.

Tangedco prunes loss

Tangedco’s losses of ₹13,985 crore in 2013-14 have been pruned to ₹3,783 crore last year. The gap between Aggregate Rate of Realisation and Aggregate Cost of Supply has been cut to ₹ 0.44 a unit last year from a high of ₹ 2.16 in 2010-11. The utility will break even in the current year after a gap of over 15 years, he said.

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