Guwahati: An interactive meet on “opportunities of solar power plants in tea estates and tea factories” was organised under the aegis of tea producer associations – ABITA, ATPA, BCP and NETA at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC).

The Managing Director of APDCL, Rakesh Kumar, addressed the gathering and urged the tea industry representatives to give suggestions on the ‘Draft Assam Renewable Energy Policy, 2022’. He appreciated the interactive meet and said interactions with the tea industry will continue.

The New and Renewable Energy (NRE) wing of APDCL, during their presentation elaborated on several modes of execution of solar projects in the tea industry – rooftop solar power plant on CAPEX or RESCO mode, setting up of solar power plant by leasing out uncultivated barren tea land, captive solar power plant and setting up solar parks by way of leasing out land to APDCL.

Already APDCL has issued vendor registration to 15 tea estates for the installation of Rooftop Solar Power Plants.

Several solar companies have given their presentations – Tata Power, KSL (official channel partner of Adani Power), Roofsol, Firstgreen and AVCO. Also, financial institutions SIDBI and PNB informed about their financing schemes for solar.

The Meet was attended by the Director of Assam Energy Development Agency, Executive Director of Tea Board, Director Tea of Govt of Assam, Chairman of Tea Research Association, Director of Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Secretary of Guwahati Tea Auction Centre and many tea companies including Goodricke, APPL, Jorehaut, Parry Agro etc.

“Solar projects can be a game-changer for the tea industry. We can use barren uncultivated land for solar power projects which could generate revenue for tea companies. We also have a factory roof for the installation of solar panels. But the tea industry is seasonal in nature and therefore power consumption is not the same throughout the year. There are some more issues and therefore we will seek Government’s guidance on how to tackle those issues so that it results in a win-win situation for the tea industry and the State”, said Bidyananda Barkakoty, Adviser, North Eastern Tea Association (NETA).

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