To open the gates of economic growth for the farmers through use of solar energy in irrigation and farming, Gujarat Government, led by Chief Minister Mr. Vijaybhai Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Nitinbhai Patel, on Saturday announced Suryashakti Kishan Yojna (SKY).
The announcement was made by the Chief Minister, in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister, Energy Minister Mr. Saurabhbhai Patel, at a press conference held in Gandhinagar.
Energy Minister stated that the ‘SKY’ would be an able element in fulfilling Prime Minister Mr. Narendrabhai Modi’s pledge to double the income of farmers by year-2022. It would be a win-win situation for both farmers and government as well because the extra power generated by the farmers through solar panels set-up in his farms can be sold to power companies in the state to generate additional income.
The investment by the farmers for availing the benefits of the SKY would be recovered within 8 to 18 months through selling of extra electricity generated. It would provide ample waters and electricity for 12-hours to the farmers, beside additional income through generating extra electricity. The SKY would also produce pollution free power, he said.
Giving further details of the SKY, the energy minister said that the farmers will have to spend only 5 % amount of the total expenditure of installing the SKY. The Central and State Governments would pay 60 % amount as a subsidy. While remaining 35% amount would be a loan to farmer, interest on which would be paid by the state government. Loan’s total time duration would be of 7-years. The electricity generated through extra panels would be purchased from the farmers at a rate of Rs. 3.50 per unit. The farmers joining the SKY must form a committee per feeder. The SKY-feeder would provide electricity for 12-hour to its members. The non-member farmers would get electricity for 8-hours only. The extra electricity, after the use, given to grid would be purchased at a rate of Rs. 7 per unit. Of this, Rs. 3.50 would be paid by Electricity Distribution Company and Rs. 3.50 per unit (maximum limit of 1000 units every year) by state government as a subsidy. Of this amount, after deducting the loan installment, the remaining money will be deposited directly into the bank account of the farmers. After loan period of 7-years, the extra power given to the grid would be purchased at a rate of Rs. 3.50 per unit for next 18-years by the Distribution Company.
He said the state government has decided to include the SKY as a pilot project in 137 feeders of all the 33 districts of the state. At present these 137 feeders are providing electricity to 12,400 farmers and 142,000 horsepower electricity is being used. It is estimated that the pilot projects would cost Rs. 870-Crore.
Source: Information Department, Gujarat