Maharashtra utility issues EOI for 10MW of agrophotovoltaics

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Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (Mahagenco) has called for an expression of interest (EoI) for setting up 10MW of agricultural solar PV, involving the creation of green house and poly house sheds.

The potential tender would include O&M servies and agricultural production for 25 years on a pilot basis.

The aim of the pilot is to experiment with ways of reducing the impact of solar deployment on the ability to use land for agriculture and the ensuing job losses.

Mahagenco envisions increasing the hegith of solar module mounting structures so that the space beneath can be used for horticulture and floriculture. The ply houses fo sheds can then be given to agro-developers, co-operative organizations, farmers and unemployed youth form the nearby rural areas for commercial poly house farming.

William Brent of think tank 'Power for All' recently blogged for PV Tech about a group of private companies that are pioneering a new approach to powering the agricultural industry in rural India that could significantly increase productivity of small-holder farmers, by combining mobile and stationary solar-powered mini-grids and linking them to a range of agricultural services, beginning with irrigation.

Meanwhile,  a switch from conventional irrigation-pump systems to solar-powered ones in India would save enormous sums of money and generate income for farmers nationwide, according to a research brief published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

Mahagenco also recently invited expressions of interest (EOI) for setting up a solar manufacturing plant in the Indian state, using any type of cells and modules.

the final date for bid submissions is 15 September.

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