The potential of solar power in Rajasthan is immense. The total photovoltaic capacity in the state passed 500 MW in 2013, and has seen growth henceforth. The district of Jodhpur leads with 42 projects totalling 293 MW, followed by Jaisalmer and Bikaner.
The French group AREVA solar is currently engaged in constructing a 250 MW concentrated solar power installation which will become the largest CSP installation in Asia.
A 4,000MW Ultra Mega Green Solar Power Project (UMPP) is being built near Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan. Upon Completion, it would be world’s largest Solar Power Plant. It is expected to be built in 4 phases, with the first phase likely to be commissioned by the end of 2016 with 1,000 MW capacity. The total cost of each phase of the project is estimated to be $1.1 billion and the entire project is expected to be completed in 7 years.
As a part of ground level implementation strategy, the state’s Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has asked officials to encourage farmers to use solar powered pumps to reduce electricity consumption in the state.
Chairing a review meeting in Jaipur, Raje said that the state government was providing subsidy on solar powered pump and farmers should be encouraged by field officers to use those in place of traditional pumps.
According to PTI, she has also asked officials to find the scope of expending olive farming in the state. Senior officials of the department were present in the meeting.
Agriculture minister Prabhu Lal, who was present in the meeting said, Bikaner district would be developed as olive and date palm hub. “Efforts were being made to promote aloe vera cultivation in the state,” a release quoted him as saying.
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