Tea Estates in WB install Solar Panels
Indian tea companies including Goodrich and McLeod Russel are all geared to install solar plants in vacant land at their tea estates. This is primarily due to West Bengal joining the list of states that have dispensed with the 5 percent value added tax on solar photovoltaic cells and other solar equipment.
Exemption of VAT is going to lower the cost of solar generation which is at par with thermal power generation or even less. As per Goodrich Group’s managing director and chief executive AN Singh, the company plans for setting up solar power plants at its Assam and Dooars tea estates. He said “The total capacity of these power plants will be 2 mw to begin with. We are currently studying the prospect of setting up these power plants. The Bengal government’s move will help us a lot and provide impetus to solar equipment sales. We have set aside one acre of land in our tea estates for solar plants.”
With the onset of monsoon, the solar plants won’t be able to supply sufficient power. McLeod Russel India Ltd has installed the solar plant at its Ratter tea estate. The Director and CFO of the company, Mr Kamal Baheti stated that the solar power project is a pilot project that they had recently commissioned. They wanted to see how it functioned and what its impact was on their production cost.