In May 2016, nine farmers became solar entrepreneurs and launched DSEPCS, which transformed their lives. “We used to spend Rs 25,000 a year on the diesel-run pump to fetch water for farms. After installing the solar grid panels in the farms, we are earning Rs 65,000 a year through clean energy while also saving money,” Pravin parmar, secretary of DSEPCS.
DSEPCS was a pilot project created as part of a field research by the International Water Management Institute (IWIM). IWIM has invested Rs 46 lakh on the project while farmers chipped in Rs 4.65 lakh to fund the installation of 56.4 kWp solar capacity. At present there are 18 such different capacity solar panels.
In early 2016, the farmers conducted a novel experiment to not only run their irrigation pumps but also to pool the surplus energy to sell to the Madhya Gujarat Vidyut Company (MGVCL) at Rs 4.63/unit under a 25-year power purchase agreement.