• Gujarat's government has launched a pilot project of the scheme called Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY) to encourage farmers to adopt solar power
  • Farmers who opt to install solar power systems for farming and irrigation purposes, will be able to sell excess power to the grid for 7.00 INR ($0.10) per kWh
  • The pilot project of the scheme will cover 33 districts by setting up 137 feeders and cover 12,400 farmers; it targets to add 175 MW to 177 MW of solar power
  • Farmers will have to pay only 5% of the capital cost, while 35% will be loans on subsidized rates paid by the state government; 60% of the subsidy will also be paid by central and state governments

The State Government of Gujarat has announced a scheme that incentivizes farmers to produce solar power. Called Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY), literally solar power farmer scheme, it will allow farmers to generate solar power using PV panels for farming and irrigation purposes and sell the excess power to the grid for 7.00 INR ($0.10) per kWh.

Discoms will contribute to half of the tariff –  3.50 INR ($0.051) per kWh, while the remaining money will be subsidized by the state government for up to 1,000 kWh every year.

Local media reported that the government has launched a pilot project for the scheme covering 175 MW to 177 MW of solar power to power water pumps for irrigation of fields. The scheme includes 33 districts and will set up 137 feeders for 12,400 farmers. The pilot alone will cost 8.7 billion INR ($127.79 million).

Farmers can get a 60% subsidy from state and central governments. While farmers will have to spend 5% of the amount on installing the system, the remaining 35% would be covered via loans paid by the state government. Farmers will have 7 years to repay the loan, according to a report in local business paper Mint.

With the solar panels installed as part of the SKY scheme, farmers are expected to be able to secure 12 hour power supply, as opposed to the current 8 hours. Based on the performance of the pilot scheme, it may be later implemented across the entire state.

The state government recently announced its Solar-Wind Hybrid Power Policy to be operated by Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA). This makes Gujarat the first state in the country having a dedicated solar-wind hybrid power policy. In May 2018, the Indian government announced such a policy on the national level (see India Launches Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy).

 As of May 31, 2018, the state had  commissioned a total solar capacity of 1,671 MW, as per GEDA. The state’s target under the National Solar Mission is to install 8,020 MW of solar power capacity by 2022.