PUNE While the state was facing a shortage of coal and consequently power outages during the summer season, it was the sugar industry which came to the state’s rescue. Sugar mills in Maharashtra generated as many as 675.57 crore units of power from their co-generation plants and earned Rs2,428 crore by selling electricity.
Maharashtra sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said, “The sugar industry in Maharashtra is carrying out diversification and earning money from different sources. It is helping get good rates for the sugarcane farmers.”
Gaikwad said, “By selling 384.30 crore power units, sugar factories got revenue of Rs2428.78 crore.”
As per data released by the sugar commissionerate on Tuesday, the sugar industry generated as many as 675.57 crore units of power during the 2020-21 crushing season, out of which 384.30 units were sold to the power grid while the remaining 212.99 crore units were consumed by the factories themselves. As factories used power generated by themselves, this also helped bring down the burden on state electricity.
According to Gaikwad, the sugar industry which includes cooperative and private sugar factories has created the capacity to generate 2,254 MW power from various co-generation units. A total of 122 sugar factories have either set up or are in the process of setting up co-generation plants in the state.
Recently, while addressing a sugar conference at the Vasant Dada Sugar Institute, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar said, “Many private companies are coming out with solar projects. The solar companies are asking sugar factories if they can erect solar panels atop the sugar factory units. The solar companies are not only bearing the capital costs but also sharing revenue with the sugar factories by selling solar energy.”
Sugar factories generating power and earning additional income, 2020-21 data
A total 122 sugar factories have set up co-generation plants
Total power generation- 675.557 crore units
Electricity sold – 384.30 crore units
Electricity consumed by factories itself- 212.99 crore units
Total income earned by factories by selling electricity- Rs2,428.78 crore