VIJAYAWADA: As part of supplying reliable power to agriculture sector on a permanent basis, the power utilities have laid special focus on taking up works of 10,050 MW mega solar plants to supply free power to all the agricultural feeders.
The mega solar project will be implemented in two phases and the project is estimated to cost Rs4,855 crore.
The officials of energy department have recently made a presentation to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy regarding the progress made so far.
They said that in the first phase, works related to 4,550 MW power plants would be taken up, followed by 5,500 MW in the second phase. Nine locations have been identified in Anantapur (2), Kadapa (3), Kurnool (10 and Prakasam (3) districts.
While the first phase is expected to cost Rs 1,255 crore, an estimated Rs 3,600 crore would be required to take up works related to 5,500 MW (phase-2) works.
It is also planned to set up three 220 kv switching stations in first phase and four 400 kv substations in the second phase for smooth evacuation of power.
“Studies have already been carried out for phase-1 system and we submitted a report on related issues, including required land and locations of solar park units,” a senior official said.
AP Solar Power Corporation Limited (APSPCL) and APGENCO chairman G Sai Prasad informed that hectic activity was going on in preparation of bid documents for inviting offers from prospective parties.
The new company formed by the government, Andhra Pradesh Green Energy Corporation Ltd (APGECL), will invite tenders soon.
This gigantic project, which is one of the biggest unique projects in the country, will be a boon to the farming community for getting assured and quality power supply in the daytime, he said.
The officials have also focused on speeding up installation of agriculture feeders and reach the target of supply free power during daytime to 100 per cent of agriculture feeders by the beginning of the Rabi season.
The officials also revealed that APTRANSCO was constructing 15 new 132/33 KV and 220/33 KV sub-stations to provide quality power to agriculture connections.
According to a press note on Sunday, the officials briefed Minister for Energy, Forest and Environment Balineni Srinivasa Reddy about the present status of agriculture feeder works in a teleconference and said that utilities were ready to supply power to 81 per cent feeders during this Kharif season.
Energy Secretary Srikant Nagulapalli said that the utilities were making all-out efforts to reduce the financial burden and get additional funds during the lockdown period.
“We have already saved Rs 188 crore in power purchasing during the lockdown,” officials said. The State government has also come to the rescue of the sector and stood as a guarantor to take loan amounting to `6,000 crore from banks and other financial institutions.