Two tea companies, Goodricke and McLeod Russel, are preparing to install solar plants on uncultivated land at some of their tea estates in North India. West Bengal has removed the previous 5% VAT charge on solar cells and other solar equipment and this will bring down the cost of installing and running the plants to generate solar power.
Local government estimates that the cost of generating solar power will drop by 4-5% per unit. McLeod Russel already has solar panels at its Atterakhat tea estate and director and c.f.o. Kamal Baheti says the company is waiting to see how this pilot program functions and what impact it has on the cost of electricity production.
Goodricke’s managing director A N Dingh explained that in West Bengal the company has set aside an acre of land for solar installations and is also planning to install panels at its estates in Assam and Dooars. The panels will be most useful in the dryer sunnier months from December to May.