In India, the government of Maharashtra has secured a $346 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to electrify rural agriculture customers.
The loan is ADB’s first results-based lending in South Asia’s energy sector and will be leveraged to accelerate renewable energy adoption in India’s second-most populous state.
The loan will be disbursed as part of the Maharashtra Rural Connectivity Improvement Project and Maharashtra Agribusiness Network Project.
Some 46,800km of high-voltage 11kV energy distribution systems will be installed and 121 substations modernised by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited.
The Government of Maharashtra and MSEDCL will arrange for counterpart funding of $357.1 million equivalent toward the $703.1 million total costs of the project.
The programme will be implemented by the Maharashtra Energy Department and MSEDCL.
The loan will be accompanied by a $1 million technical assistance from ADB to demonstrate energy and water conservation efforts.
Len George, a senior energy specialist at ADB, said: “Providing efficient, reliable, and good quality power to rural agriculture customers in India will improve agricultural productivity and efficiency in the electricity value chain.
“Wider adoption of HVDS with metering and usage-based tariffs sets the stage for investments in energy-efficient pumps, drip irrigation and could support improvements in subsidy management.”