It will be the farm where the famous Kashmir saffron will be planted, but also doubled as a solar power project expected to generate up to 10 megawatts of electricity from the District.
Jammu and Kashmir are expected to have India’s first “agro-photovoltaic” project – where a solar project will be built on an area of 250 hectares (just over 100 hectares) that will be used simultaneously to grow saffron, ThePrint learned.
The project will be based in Pampore – known as high-quality saffron – and will cost about Rs.50 crore, according to sources at J&K management. The project is expected to produce saffron worth Rs 55 lakh annually.
The land, the sources said, currently owns off-generating power plants at the power plant where the LPG was used to generate electricity. The plant has been cut down as it appeared to be expensive and the propellers have been out of service for the past 10-12 years, sources said.
They said work on the new program was expected to begin later this month.
Speaking to ThePrint, J&K General Secretary for Energy and Information Rohit Kansal confirmed that the project is in the palace. “We will try to ensure that we do not lose the precious saffron land in Pampore, while at the same time using it to produce solar energy,” he said.
“Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation are in talks with Solar Energy Corporation of India to help us plan this plant,” he added.
Solar Energy Corporation of India is a medium-sized public sector operating under the auspices of the Union for New and New Energy.
A source in J&K management said the plant would be the world’s first solar project.
“Usually, barren land is needed to set up a solar project, but here, we will do it in such a way that the saffron planting will take place separately, under the panels, ensuring the best and highest use of that land,” the source said.
“A proposal for a similar plan has been prepared. It has all the details of what the solar panel structure will look like, the distance between the panel and the saffron flower”, said the source.
Source: The Print