In a bid to reduce the consumption of diesel in water pump sets deployed for irrigation purpose, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will provide financial support from the National Clean Energy Fund for installation of 17,500 Solar Photo Voltaic water pumping systems in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and other selected states.

At present, owing to lack of grid-connected power in many parts of the country, farmers heavily depend on diesel engine powered water pump sets for irrigation. The scheme initiated by the MNRE is primarily aimed at meeting the irrigation requirements of small and marginal farmers. In addition to enhancing the cropping intensity, it will eliminate the need to travel long distances for procurement of diesel.

Under the scheme for installation of SPV water pumping systems, a financial support of Rs. 299.5 crore will be provided from the NCEF. The total project cost is Rs. 997.5 crore.

While estimating the total project cost and earmarking the budget for the scheme, the MNRE assumed the average capacity of the SPV water pumping systems to be 3 kWp.

The states opting for the scheme will have to contribute not less than 15 percent of the project cost as their share. The MNRE will provide 30 percent of the project cost as subsidy. The balance will have to be borne by the beneficiary. The state nodal agencies will be given up to 2 percent of the Central Financial Assistance as service charge for implementation of the project and monitoring of the SPV water pumping systems.

The renewable energy development agency in the states opting for the scheme will be responsible for procurement of the systems, their installation as well as providing technical assistance from time to time when required. The agency will also select the beneficiaries under the scheme by inviting expression of interest. The duration of the project is 2 years.

A SPV water pumping system consists of PV array, a DC/AC surface mounted/submersible/floating motor pump set, electronics if any, interconnect cables and an “On-Off” switch. The PV array is mounted on a suitable structure with provision of tracking. Electronics can include Maximum Power Point Tracker, inverter and controls/protections.

In accordance with the guidelines of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, the use of fully imported SPV water pumping systems is not permitted under the scheme. However, imported components can be used in a system provided they meet the MNRE specifications.

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