The government 19 March 2018 said its farmer-oriented solar power scheme, Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM), will allow setting up grid-connected solar plants in rural areas apart from off-grid solar pumps. The Government of India is in the process of formulating a scheme KUSUM which provides for installation of grid-connected solar power plants of 2 Mw capacity each in rural areas and installation of standalone off-grid solar water pumps to fulfil irrigation needs of farmers not connected to the grid.
The KUSUM scheme will also have provisions for solarisation of tube wells and lift irrigation projects. The other benefits of the scheme include reduction in transmission losses, support the financial health of discoms by cutting the burden of agricultural subsidy; supporting states in meeting their Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) targets; promotion of energy efficiency; and providing water security to farmers.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced the scheme in this year’s budget that involves decentralized solar power production of up to 28,250 Megawatt (Mw) over five years. The scheme aims at boosting farmers’ income by allowing them to sell additional power to the grid through solar plants set up on their barren lands.