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CS launches week long Kashmir Solar Expo-2023, asks people to benefit from schemes

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JAKEDA says opting for solar energy would cut consumers' electricity bills

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) has launched a new scheme under which consumers can reduce their electricity bills and bank their surplus energy if they install solar power plants in their homes.

“We have a 20-Megawatt ‘Roof Top Solar Power Plant’ project for Jammu and Kashmir. In this scheme we are trying to cover 10,000 households, where we set up a power plant of three, five or ten-kilowatt capacity that will curtail the electricity bills of the consumers,” this was given out during the Solar Expo at Kashmir Haat, Exhibition Ground here, a week-long event  inaugurated by the Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today.

The expo being held from May 17 to May 23 is being organized by JAKEDA in collaboration with multiple vendors of renewable energy industry and other line departments of Jammu and Kashmir.

Dr Mehta appreciated JAKEDA for organizing the expo saying that the initiative will immensely help in raising awareness among the people about the benefits of rooftop solar plants and other beneficiary oriented schemes.

He asked JAKEDA to organize more such awareness camps and expos across other parts of the UT so that people there would know about the rooftop solar plant, KUSUM scheme and its financing pattern and benefits.

The Chief Secretary said that renewable sources of energy holds the future and the government envisions a future with reduced dependence on fossil fuel by promoting renewable energy sources.

He also noted that besides reducing carbon emissions, the generation of solar energy through rooftop solar programmes would also offset power requirements of domestic consumers in J&K thereby aiding our Power Discoms to provide quality power to the rest of the consumers.

He maintained that these are the major initiatives aimed at reducing the dependence of people over fossil fuels for energy. He observed that ultimately the future belongs to renewable energy. He further said that the energy, besides clean and less hazardous, is cost-effective for the people. He encouraged them to readily adopt this futuristic technology for both their domestic and agricultural purposes in order to save their resources and environment as well.

The Commissioner Secretary, Science and Technology, Saurabh Bhagat on the occasion remarked that the department is making concerted efforts for the promotion of both these schemes. He made out that Under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, GoI’s schemes, domestic electricity consumers across the UT can install rooftop solar PV plants for electricity purpose and can also avail the benefit of installation of solar powered pumps under PM-KUSUM in order to fulfill their irrigation needs.

Moreover it was made out that under this Rooftop Solar scheme, subsidy upto 65 percent is being provided to consumers for installing Solar Photovoltaic rooftops. The solar rooftops are available from 1 KW to 10 KW capacity and five years free maintenance is also provided to the consumers.

About the PM-KUSUM, it was said that the same was launched by the Government of India to increase the income of farmers and provide sources for irrigation for the upliftment of the agricultural sector. It was also added that the government entails to provide maximum benefit to farmers from this beneficiary oriented scheme.

The scheme allows the farmers to install subsidized Solar Powered Pumps upto 10 HP capacity for irrigation purposes with a choice of AC/DC surface and submersible pumps. Under the KUSUM scheme, the Central and the UT government provides a subsidy of upto 80 percent while as the beneficiary/farmer has to bear only 20 percent cost of the machinery to avail the benefit of the scheme.

JAKEDA Chief Executive Officer Prithvi Raj Dhar said with the installation of smart meters, which are bidirectional, the energy generated from the solar panels installed at the premises of consumers will be transferred to the grid.

“The number of units generated by the solar plant will be deducted from the number of units consumed by the consumer,” he added.

“It means the cost of installing the plant will be recovered in three years and the consumer will get free energy for the rest of his life. It is also clean energy. Installing one KW solar power plant is equivalent to planting 66 trees per year. This will greatly reduce carbon emissions,” Dhar said.

JAKEDA Assistant Executive Engineer Khalid Raja said in the case of consumers using less energy than what is generated by their plant, the excess energy will be banked in their account for later use.

“The government is providing subsidies on setting up the power plant which is up to 65 percent of project cost. The consumer has to provide only 35 percent,” he added.

Afshan Reshi, a visitor at the expo, was upbeat about the new scheme.

“There are a lot of benefits. It will reduce the electricity bills. Right now there is a good amount of subsidy on it. It may be reduced later or waived later,” Reshi said.

JAKEDA has invited several companies which manufacture and market solar technologies to the expo so that the visitors can choose from a wide range of products.

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