Maharashtra: Sugar factories urged to set up solar power projects

Solapur: With an increased focus on renewable energy, the State Sugar Commissioner has asked sugar factories in Maharashtra to use part of their available land for the execution of solar power projects to operate factories and sell excess power produced by such projects.

The Maharashtra government is keen on solar power as an alternative to electricity with its demand increasing day by day and getting enough electricity during the day proving difficult. As many as 230 sugar factories exist in the state, and except the ones in Western Maharashtra and Ahmednagar, all others have agricultural land. The Sugar Commissioner views this land as a huge potential for setting up solar power projects.

The Commissioner had, in a recent meeting, explained to the sugar factory officials the advantages of implementing solar power solutions. He said that the cost for a one-megawatt solar project is around three to four crore rupees. The factories have two options: to set up the project by themselves or get the energy department’s help.

Elaborating on the initiative, Dr Kunal Khemnar, Sugar Commissioner, said that this will benefit those sugar factories which are without cogeneration plants and those with cogeneration plants. The ones without cogeneration plants will have all their requirements of electricity catered to, while those with existing plants will benefit from the additional power supply during the off-season.

Government incentives back this campaign for the adoption of solar power, hence making this transition economically attractive. Embracing solar energy offers sugar factories one sure path towards reduced electricity costs and increased self-sufficiency, aside from the associated environmental benefits.


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