Andhra Pradesh is planning to set up a solar project with an installed capacity of 10 GW to meet the increasing demand for power in the agricultural sector
The state government of Andhra Pradesh is planning to set up a mega solar power project with an installed capacity of 10 GW in order to meet the increasing demand for power and to supply free, uninterrupted power to the agricultural sector, state energy secretary Nagulapali Srikant has said.
Addressing employees of the energy department after Republic Day celebrations, Srikant (as reported by the TNN) said that the project will ensure an abundant supply of power to the agricultural sector.
The energy secretary noted that the number of agricultural connections in the state now stands at 18.1 lakh after the recent addition of 25,000 connections. The department is planning to increase the number of connections by another 25,000 in the current fiscal. Srikant further said that the government is working on various options to optimise its power purchase cost with a mix of power from thermal, hydel and renewable energy sources.
The objective, the energy secretary said, is to make power cost-effective and to contribute to industrial, agricultural and economic growth and improve the living standards of consumers.
Despite severe financial constraints, the state government has allocated Rs 7,779 crore as subsidy for agriculture and aquaculture, said Srikant. The government has also strengthened human resources in the power sector by appointing 7,000 linemen and 175 assistant engineers. The state government is prioritising energy efficiency and energy conservation, he added.
In November 2019, according to information provided by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the state government of Andhra Pradesh had reported the development of over 1 GW of ultra-mega solar power projects in Naxal affected regions of the state.
The total installed capacity in the regions as reported by the state government is 1.16 GW, of which a 1000 MW solar park is under development in left-wing extremist mandals of Nambulapula Kunta, and another 160 MW solar plant in Ramagiri in Ananthapuram District.