MNRE announces guidelines for the installation of innovative standalone solar pumps

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued guidelines for the installation of innovative standalone solar pumps. These guidelines aim to help increase the efficiency and improve the performance of solar pumps while also cutting down on cost. The MNRE has been promoting solar pumps in India under off-grid and decentralized solar photovoltaic programme as well as the PradhanMantriKisanUrjaSurakshaEvamUtthaanMahabhiyaan (PM-KUSUM) scheme. The guidelines are applicable for all Indian innovators, manufacturers and service providers, who wish to install innovative standalone solar pumps in India under the schemes operated by MNRE. The guidelines further elaborate on specific issues under four categories: call for expression of interest, evaluation of applications, demonstration of the innovation, and adoption of technology by the MNRE.

In April 2020, the MNRE issued draft guidelines for the installation of innovative stand-alone solar pumps and had invited comments and suggestions from stakeholders. As per the draft guidelines, the ministry will call for expressions of interest from time to time inviting applications from solar pump innovators claiming better performance on account of improved efficiency, cost-effectiveness and monitoring.

Launched in March 2019 by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the PradhanMantriKisanUrjaSurakshaevamUtthaanMahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) is primarily aimed at promoting the use of solar energy in the agricultural sector. This is expected to be carried out by installing new solar pumps, setting up grid-connected ground-mounted solar power plants and extensively solarising the existing pumps. Under the scheme, a total of 25,750 MW of solar power capacity is expected to be developed by 2022.

The scheme comprises three main components. Component A involves the installation of 10,000 MW of capacity through small renewable energy plants of capacity up to 2 MW each on the barren/fallow land of farmers. Component B consists of installing 1.75 million stand-alone off-grid solar water pumps and Component C pertains to the solarisation of 1 million existing grid-connected agricultural pumps having individual capacity up to 7.5 HP.