The Andhra Pradesh government must provide legal protection to the farmers and other people who have leased out their land to private or government organisations for solar and wind energy projects, CPI(M) State secretary V. Srinivasa Rao has said, adding that 48,000 acres of land has been identified in Anantapur district for leasing out to the power generation companies.
“Power generation companies such as Adani make a net profit of about ₹1.50 crore per year per acre. However, they offer only ₹30,000 per year to land owners as lease rental without any guarantee from the State or Central government,” Mr Srinivasa Rao said while addressing a meeting of stakeholders of solar power projects, who have consented to part with their land.
He demanded the lease rental for land be increased to ₹3.6 lakh per annum, saying that it was ‘quite affordable’ for the company undertaking solar or wind power projects.
Rayalaseema region not only gets good sunshine for 300 days a year for solar energy production but also is ideal, for being on a high-altitude region, for generation of wind power, he pointed out.
Unlike in the past, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said, the land being aggregated on lease instead of outright purchase for big companies.
“The government must provide legal protection to the land owners, a majority of them farmers, as they will be ut to trouble in case of any problem or the lease amount is not paid. Five acres of land is required to set up a 1 Megawatt power plant which can generate 20,000 units per acre. The company will make ₹1.5 core per annum, according to the calculations given by the auditors who look after power producing companies,” Mr. Srinivasa Rao said.
“The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) says that ₹1.99 per unit is an ideal price for solar power. However, according to the agreements made now, the Adani company is paid ₹2.49 per unit,” he pointed out.
He demanded that the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) must review the power purchase prices from time to time.