MNRE to Remotely Monitor Solar Assets Under KUSUM Program
The data analysis will help understand best practices and gaps in implementation
The United Kingdom (U.K.)-India Power Sector Reforms (PSR) Program will assist the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in the conceptualization, design, and development of the Solar Energy Data Management (SEDM) platform.
The platform will be implemented at the national level and in the states of Haryana and Gujarat under the Pradhan Mantri-Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program.
In July 2019, India announced the PM-KUSUM program to encourage the wider deployment of solar water pumps. The program focuses on the installation of both off-grid and grid-connected solar pumps.
Solar water pumps offer great benefits—ranging from providing financial and water security to farmers to reducing dependency on diesel and the electric grid. A critical requirement for the smooth implementation of the PM-KUSUM program is near real-time communication between all metering units of the solar pumps and a central software platform.
The PSR program will assist MNRE in integrating real-time data from the state portals of Gujarat and Haryana into the National Remote Monitoring Portal, providing an overall picture of PM-KUSUM under one online platform. The data analysis will help understand best practices and gaps in implementation.
The platform monitors solar assets’ real-time performance at a granular level using ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). It tracks the overall progress made by the PS-KUSUM program and related subsidy disbursals digitally.
In 2016, the U.K. Government, in partnership with the Ministry of Power (MoP), had launched a ‘Technical Assistance (T.A.) program -Supporting Structural Reforms in the Indian Power Sector (PSR Programme).’ The £ 15 million (~$20.8 million) program focuses on supporting structural market reforms and integrating renewable energy into the electricity grid and would be implemented until March 2022.
The PSR Program aims to facilitate sustainable and inclusive economic growth, better energy security and poverty reduction, and reduced carbon emissions. It focuses on the critical needs and priorities of focus on the Indian power sector’s development areas.
The SEDMs will facilitate effective monitoring and control of the country-wide installations of decentralized solar plants and pumps and streamline the subsidy disbursal process. For instance, the central subsidy will only be disbursed if the beneficiary registers through the respective state portal.
The PSR Program had supported the Gujarat SEDM platform launched in November 2020.
The targets under the PM-KUSUM program have been ramped up to achieve a solar capacity target of 30.8 GW by 2022 from the earlier 25.75 GW.
Meanwhile, the MNRE has decided to include feeder level solarization under Component-C of the PM-KUSUM program.
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.