VIJAYAWADA: The state government, which has proposed various initiatives, including establishment of 10,000 mega watts (MW) solar power plants and installation of smart meters as a part of reforms in the power sector to offer free power to farmers for the next 30 years, has expedited the process of identifying suppliers for smart meters and establishing solar power plants. Discoms have started identifying suppliers for smart meters as a part of the Dr YSR Free Agriculture Power Scheme under which the free agriculture power subsidy will be credited to the accounts of beneficiaries under direct benefit transfer (DBT).
The Southern Power Distribution Company of AP Ltd (APSPDCL), the biggest of the three discoms in the state, with 10.9 lakh agriculture connections, has invited expression of interest (EOI) for the purchase of 1.1 lakh agriculture smart meters initially. According to the EOI, the smart meters must have GPRS and the firm would be responsible for the functioning of the meters for five years.
The EOI process is expected to be completed by September 30, following which the discom would share request for proposal from the identified companies. The discom said that the installation of the meters should be completed in six months. “We have also asked the other discoms to go for installation of smart meters. They will invite tenders for the same. In Srikakulam, APEPDCL will install the IRDA meters available with it for the 31,500 agriculture connections in the next two months,” a source explained.
Meanwhile, the AP Green Energy Corporation Ltd (APGECL) has sent the tender documents pertaining to 10 ultra mega solar power projects (UMSPPs) with an aggregate capacity of 6,050 MW under the first phase.
The chief executive officer (CEO) of APGECL, S Ramana Reddy, said the tender documents were submitted to the judicial preview on Thursday and stakeholders can submit their views/objections, if any, by September 25. Once the tender documents are vetted, the corporation will float the tenders for identification of solar power plant developer.