AP-Reg. upgrades feeders to provide farmers with free electricity

In order to continue to supply the agricultural sector with free electricity for nine hours a day, the Andhra Pradesh government has upgraded the agricultural feeders at a cost of 1,700 billion yen.

Of the 6,663 feeders, only 3,854 were conducive to powering nine hours in two periods, so there was a need to increase their capacity, an official statement said. The aim is to make the feeder network robust in order to be able to implement the concept for the next 30 years without any problems.

The agricultural feeders consume around 15,700 million units of energy per year, which is almost 24% of the state’s total energy needs (66,000 ME per year). The government has sanctioned over 1.3 lakh of new agricultural connections in the past two years.

The state’s utilities have set a kind of record by providing free electricity to more than 18 lakh agricultural services during the day under the government’s flagship program, Navaratnalu.

Until June 2019, electricity was supplied for seven hours in two periods, including the nights.

Three decades plan

The utility companies completed the modernization of the feeders and other infrastructure work in a year from 2019 and were able to supply all dedicated agricultural feeders with electricity for free during the Rabi season. Already in the Kharif season in 2020, the utilities supplied around 90% of the feeders with electricity free of charge.

According to the press release, the government subsidy granted to the agricultural sector in FY 2020-21 was ¥ 8,559 billion, compared to ¥ 6,030 billion in FY 2018/19.

In order to continue the free electricity program for the agricultural sector for the next three decades, the government has set about building an exclusive 10,000 MW solar power plant.

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