Gujarat Launches SKY Scheme for Farmers to Generate Solar Power

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The Gujarat government has launched a solar power scheme for farmers—Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY) enabling them to generate electricity for their captive consumption as well as sell the surplus power to the grid and earn an extra buck. Announcing the pilot project of the scheme in Gandhinagar, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijay Rupani, termed it a revolutionary step towards empowering farmers to generate their own electricity using solar energy and help doubling their income.As per the scheme, farmers with an existing electricity connection will be given solar panels as per their load requirements. The State and Central governments will give 60% subsidy on the cost of project. The farmer is required to take 5% cost, while 35% will be provided to him as an affordable loan with interest rates of 4.5%–6%. The scheme duration is 25 years, which is split between a 7-year period and an 18-year period. “This is a first such scheme in the country, where farmer would produce his power and sell the surplus to the State power utility,” said the Chief Minister, adding that the work on the scheme will begin soon. The scheme envisages setting up of separate feeders for agricultural solar energy consumption.