The Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) has issued an expression of interest for conducting feasibility surveys and inspection of solar pumps set up Component-B of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) programme in the state. In addition to conducting feasibility tests, the agency will be responsible for verifying online application documents, conducting technical inspections and verifying installed pump sets, and testing the pumps. The agencies that are eligible to compete in the competitive bidding process include third-party surveyors, consultants, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, agricultural colleges, and universities. The bidders are also required to have an office set up in the state in the state and allocate sufficient manpower for the installation of the projects. In addition to having a positive net worth, the bidders must record a minimum average turnover of at least Rs 10 million in the last three financial years. Prospective bidders must also submit an earnest money deposit of Rs 1 million. The deadline for the submission of bids is January 15, 2021.
The PM-KUSUM scheme was announced in March 2019, by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, to promote the use of solar energy in the agricultural sector. In November 2020, the MNRE increased the original targets under Component-B of the scheme. Under Component-B, 2 million standalone solar pumps will now be installed, 0.25 million more than its earlier target. In September 2020, the ministry had invited innovators, manufacturers, and service providers to submit an expression of interest to partake in the government’s solar pump scheme through the development of innovative pumps.