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Legal Assessment Of Agriphotovoltaics (AgriPV) In Maharashtra And Karnataka, India – Land Law & Agriculture



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Context

BTG Legal was commissioned by Indo-German Energy Forum Support
Office (IGEF-SO) [c/o Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale
Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmBH] to write a legal assessment of
Agriphotovoltaics (AgriPV) in the Indian states of Maharashtra and
Karnataka.

The legal assessment was published in a consolidated report,
that assesses the current legal framework in selected states of
India in the context of 1-10 MW agriphotovoltaic projects. The
major focus lies on land regulations and how they influence the
status of land-use category, probable change in tax incidence for
farmers and developers, finance availability for project
development and permit requirement.

Queries covered in the assessment

  • Query No. 1: List the legal requirements of
    permits/ licenses to establish a multi MW (1 to 10 MW) size solar
    project in Maharashtra and Karnataka on agricultural land

  • Query No. 2: List the barriers for an AgriPV
    project to be installed on agricultural land for additional
    large-scale solar generation, co-located with agriculture. Analyse
    the possibility for a new, commercial or hybrid category for an
    AgriPV project, so that power generated from it may either be used
    by farmer himself or sold through government utility, through Power
    Purchase Agreement.

  • Query No. 3: List potential practices or
    avenues to obtain a construction permit on agricultural land under
    present legal framework and authorities to be contacted. The
    possible avenues/offices of redressal for obtaining permit/
    permission for an AgriPV project in each state.

  • Query No. 4: Does legislation in place permit
    farmers to take credit against agricultural land as collateral? If
    yes, is it actually happening? Any barriers that the farmers face?
    Are banks able to seize the collateral in case of default?

  • Query No. 5: Financial implications for the
    solar project developer / owner as well as for the farmer. Please
    also highlight any tax implication on farmer/developer for
    establishing AgriPV power plant on the land of farmer. Whether
    developer and/or farmer may continue to have access to bank loans
    for their respective businesses i.e. AgriPV solar farms and
    agriculture respectively. Whether benefits/subsidies/minimum
    support price for farming may continue, even if agricultural land
    is also used for AgriPV power plant?

  • Query No. 6: Research any legal basis or legal
    aspects for states to consider the introduction of a new type of
    land category recognizing AgriPV (apart from KUSUM component A) -
    any experience in the state assuring construction permit for AgriPV
    projects as well as all benefits associated with farming on
    agricultural land).

  • Query No. 7: Recommendations to accelerate
    construction permits for AgriPV projects in each state on
    agricultural land.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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