Shakti Pumps to Supply 50,000 Solar Pumps in Maharashtra
The project carries a total worth of approximately ₹16.03 billion (~$192.4 million)
Shakti Pumps, a company in the field of water pumping systems, has secured a Letter of Empanelment from the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to provide 50,000 off-grid solar photovoltaic water pumping systems across Maharashtra.
The order comes under Component-B of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program Phase-III.
The project is valued at ₹16.03 billion (~$192.4 million), which includes GST, and is slated for completion within 24 months.
The PM-KUSUM program aims to address critical challenges related to energy, agriculture, and water resources.
Mr Dinesh Patidar, Chairman of Shakti Pumps, said, “This move will relieve DISCOMs of the burden of subsidy loss. Farmers who applied for and were awaiting an electrical connection will be upgraded to solar pumps as part of this effort. These farmers relied on diesel pumps for irrigation or only grew one crop, depending on the season. These farmers can now farm all year without worrying about water while also increasing agricultural productivity with micro-irrigation techniques, in line with the ‘Per Drop More Crop’ philosophy.”
Solar pumps form an integral part of the approach to water resource management in the agricultural sector. By harnessing the power of solar energy, these systems provide a reliable and eco-friendly solution for farmers. They enable them to draw water for irrigation, livestock, and domestic use, thus reducing their dependence on traditional grid-based electricity.
Recently, Shakti Pumps received a letter of award from the Uttar Pradesh Department of Agriculture to supply, install, and commission 10,000 solar pumps under the Component B PM-KUSUM program.
Minister of Power R.K. Singh told Parliament that the PM-KUSUM program has benefited over 200,000 farmers as of February 28, 2023. A solar capacity of 89.45 MW has been installed under Component-A of the program. Approximately 209,000 pumps have been reported as installed or solarized under Component-B and Component-C. The total installed solar capacity under the program stood at 1.14 GW.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) conducted a third-party evaluation of the program, after which it was extended until March 31, 2026.
The Ministry also decided to extend the waiver of the domestic content requirement for solar cells used for projects under the program until March 31, 2024.
The Ministry granted a final extension to solar projects pending installation under Component A of the program to September 30, 2023, citing the difficulties faced by farmers in accessing finance during the initial phase.