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    Vadodara district cold storage owners turned to solar power to reduce power cost

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    Potato cultivation is prevalent in the villages of Chhani and its adjoining Savli taluka and as a result, as many as five cold storages are functioning in the area for safe and fresh storage of potatoes for a long time. The storage units are located in villages like Nandesari, Mokshi, Rania.

    Power costs and labor costs are major in the management of cold storage. In order to reduce the cost of electricity and maintain the profitability of the business, its operators are currently resorting to solar electrification and state government’s horticulture department is assisting them to install the panels. Farmer who installed the solar roof top in the cold storage under this scheme said, in the assistance scheme of the Horticulture Department, after the subsidy provided by the Government of India and State Government, it becomes easier to install the solar system.

    Paresh Patel owner of Balaji cold storage at Mahapura also cultivates potatoes himself.  He is planning to set up a solar roof top system for his cold storage by taking advantage of the Horticulture Department assistance scheme. He says, I have installed a solar system in my house to save on electricity costs.

     Those who have installed solar in cold storage have benefited.  Subsidies and loans are easily available so he start to take advantage of this scheme. He also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for Go Solar.

    Dr. Smita Pillai, Deputy Director, Horticulture Department, Vadodara Regional Office said, the government has implemented a scheme for assistance in modernization of cold storage through installation of solar roof tops and initiated efforts to take advantage of this scheme in Vadodara district. Installing a solar roof top for cold storage is a costly task, so the financial system is meant to be easier with this scheme. With a maximum unit cost of 75 KWP and an estimated unit cost of Rs. 24.55 lakhs, the Government of India has given 35 per cent and state government 15 % incentive assistance as per rules.

    She said,  the Horticulture Department is implementing various schemes to facilitate and promote horticulture. The scheme also gives impetus to the concept of clean energy.  At a time when solar energy is going to be the main source of electricity in the future, the Horticulture Department’s plan is a step in that direction.

    She called people to contact the Horticulture Office behind Raopura Police Station, Vadodara for detailed information and guidance on the scheme.

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