Odisha to put solar panels on canals to boost green power
Continuing its endeavour to harness the non-conventional sources of energy,Odisha government plans to develop 50 MW Canal top and canal bank solar projects by 2022.The target of developing 50 MW solar power will be included in the Odisha Renewable Energy Policy which is on its last leg of finalization. In the draft policy, the target was to develop about 250 MW canal top and canal bank projects, but it was lowered due to lack of feasibility.“The Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Ltd (Gedcol), the nodal agency for implementation of renewable energy projects, will develop a 10 MW project on pilot basis. Gedcol has asked the water resources department to suggest the locations where the projects can be developed”, said an official.The cost of producing one mw of solar power on canal top is pegged at Rs 12 crore while for canal bank, the cost would be around Rs 7 crore per MW.In the field of setting up canal top and canal bank solar photovoltaic (pv) projects, Odisha will join the leagues of the states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab, West Bengal which have already developed such projects in their respective states.It may be noted Odisha receives an average solar radiation of 5.5kWh/sqm area with around 300 clear sunny days every year. National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) has estimated solar power potential of the state at 25,780 mwp2.This year, the state power regulator Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has allowed Rs 30 crore in the annual revenue requirement (ARR) of bulk power purchaser Gridco exclusively towards purchase of additional quantum of renewable energy.Odisha also plans to set up a solar park at Balasore district spreading over 3,000 acres of land. The state government has in principle approval from the Union ministry of New and Renewable Energy for setting up a 1000 mw solar park. The state government is in the process of developing grid connected roof top solar projects in all the government buildings. Gedcol is executing four mw of roof top solar power project on 136 government buildings in the twin city of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar on pilot basis at a cost of Rs 30 to Rs 40 crore.