Distributed Solar Systems for 20,000 Acres Drip Irrigation Systems and Tunnel Farms in Punjab, Pakistan

The Department of Agriculture (Water Management), Government of the Punjab has got a mandate for execution of the project titled “Promotion of High Value Agriculture through Provision of Climate Smart Technology Package”.

8.2 Renewable Energy Experts Hamburg and 8.2 Renewable Energy Experts Pakistan (REEP) were hired as Owner’s Engineer for the supervision and monitoring of the project by the Department of Agriculture.

The client wanted to ensure the installation of high quality and cost effective distributed solar systems at the farmer’s sites through cost sharing between the government and the farmers at the rate of 80 percent and 20 percent respectively. This unique project was the first of its kind to be implemented on widely spread 20,000 acres of drip irrigated farm lands in the province.

Equipment and SSC Selection Process

Initially, the Service and Supply Companies (SSC), prequalified by the Department of Agriculture, for the installation of drip irrigation systems were also allowed to install the solar systems. Later on, the solar systems installed by some of the SSCs were found to be insufficient to meet the crop water requirements; also the quality of the components was not satisfactory.

Therefore 8.2 Renewable Energy Experts drafted the technical specifications of all individual system components including PV modules, variable frequency drives (VFD), pole mounted trackable mounting structures, circuit breakers, cables, etc. and got its approval from the government after thorough deliberations.

Our expert team reviewed the technical and financial proposals of the SSCs for the equipment fulfilling the latest approved specifications and recommended the quality equipment for approval from the government.

Keeping in view the wide spread of the project, our experts also assisted the prequalification committee and selected around 20 new solar SSCs that provided a relevant track record of solar system installation and a good reputation in the region.

As the farmers were given a choice to negotiate and select each of the prequalified SSCs, all the SSCs had an equal opportunity to be part of the projects.

Preparation of Technical Documents

8.2 Renewable Energy Experts developed the required technical documentation for a smooth project execution. The needed design sheets were developed and handed over to the SSCs. The SSCs had to fill in the design details of the projects including all individual components, material quantities and costs, etc. The design sheets also covered the monthly crop water requirements. For an efficient review of the provided design sheets our expert team developed a project specific simulation tool called ‘SoSit’. It evaluates whether a proposed solar system is capable to meet the electricity requirements for the irrigation of the proposed crops. In case the proposed design did not meet the requirements, 8.2 Renewable Energy Experts used to guide the SSCs accordingly.

After the design approval, the SSCs had to deliver the material at each farmer’s site accordingly. Our experts developed the material verification documents and performed on-site visits for material verification according to the proposed bill of quantities. They used a  dedicated Android application to expedite the verification process over widely spread farm sites.

8.2 Renewable Energy Experts also developed the test run and commissioning documentation.

 

Rashid Majid Warraich
Regional Director
8.2 Renewable Energy Experts Pakistan

“This project is addressing three very important issues in Pakistan: It addresses the water shortage, (clean) energy supply and also improvement in the income generation of local farmers.

The client is investing a significant amount or resources into this project so its perceived success has a high impact on the future acceptance of this solution.

We at 8.2 are convinced that this is the right way to go and do our best to ensure all individual projects are properly planned and executed.”

Due Diligence of the SSCs

Unfortunately it was often observed that the designs prepared by the SSCs were not sufficient to deliver the required volume of water for the very high irrigation requirements of the proposed crops. This was thoroughly reviewed by 8.2 Renewable Energy Experts for each individual project. Our experts collected information for each farmer site and checked - from drip designs and pump curves whether – if the pumps were able to deliver sufficient volume of water within available sun hours at the site’s geographical position.

The quality and ingress protection ratings of individual components had been examined according to the pre-approved component specifications. The components had been inspected at the premises of each farmer prior to installation if these met the approved designs and bills of material. After the equipment installation our experts examined the test run of the systems, its installation quality and final commissioning.    

 

Project Reference
Chakwal, Pakistan

Training and Project Development Support

8.2 Renewable Energy Experts conducted intensive training sessions frequently with the staff of the client and of the SSCs. The participants were trained to prepare the solar system designs for different drip systems, to select the needed equipment, to handle the material during transportation, to install the systems and to perform O&M activities. Our expert team prepared a written manual for the SSCs and the client.

Out expert team also participated in the overall negotiations between client and SSCs to get reasonable prices for the equipment. During meetings with the Standards and Specifications Committee of the government 8.2 Renewable Energy Experts supported to get approval for high-quality equipment to be used for the project execution. 

About 8.2 Renewable Energy Experts

8.2 Renewable Energy Experts Hamburg GmbH is the renamed 8.2 Obst & Ziehmann International GmbH.

8.2 Renewable Energy Experts Pakistan is a daughter company of 8.2 Renewable Energy Experts Hamburg GmbH based in Lahore.

Both companies are part of the 8.2 Group which traces back to 1995. 8.2 Group consists of more than 30 independent engineering offices with over 150 employees; 100 of these are graduated engineers. Solar PV activities accumulate over 4,000 MWp of project references.

 

Contact

8.2 Renewable Energy Experts Hamburg
Friesenweg 5, 22763 Hamburg, Germany

8.2 Renewable Energy Experts Pakistan
60-H Gulberg III, Lahore, Pakistan

gerwin.dreesmann@8p2.de

+49 (0) 40 537 985 700
+92 (0)42 357 822 66

 

Project Reference
Kasur, Punjab, Pakistan