Around 10,000 Rural women in Indapur, Baramati and Bhor talukas in India have come forward to install a solar power generation project of 1-MW and sell the power to earn money under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

They have registered a company named after the mother of Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, the Sharda Power Pvt. Ltd.

Mentor for the project, Baramati MP Supriya Sule, said: “Of the total project cost of Rs 14 crore, Rs 2 crore will be contributed by the women shareholders.”

According to sources, once the project gets approval, banks can sanction loan for it with low interest rates.

“The one mega watt project is awaiting final nod from the Maharashtra Energy Development Agency. The project is inspired from similar projects, managed by women, in Jharkhand,” Sule added.

She said that the site for proposed project is in Indapur taluka, spread over 5 acres. The life span of the project is 25 years.

Since the state government does not buy electricity generated from solar power. So, the company’s senior officials have requested the government to provide potential buyers for the power, considering that the company is floated by rural women.

Solar Electricity generated from the plant will be sold to other companies or supplied to nearby villages. The project will provide a regular source of income to the shareholders.

The loan is expected to be repaid in 10 years if the present tariff of Rs17.91 per unit for solar power is realised, offering a return of Rs1 crore per annum in the first 10 years, and Rs3 crore per year thereafter.

Kalyankar said that a women’s group in Jharkhand has successfully established a similar project.