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Maharashtra power utility plans floating solar power panels on Irai dam

Power News - Published on Wed, 03 Jan 2018

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Economic Times reported that Maharashtra state, which is the leader in renewable energy sector, is poised to continue to move ahead as it is finding new ways to increase the solar generation capacity. The latest is state-run power generation company Mahagenco's decision to install solar panels on dams.

Floating solar power plant exists in India only in Kerala. A 500kW plant was recently inaugurated in Banasura Sagar at the cost of INR 9.25 crore. In Gujarat solar panels have been installed to cover canals but they are not floating.

A source in Mahagenco said that a private solar energy agency Gensol had been asked to conduct a feasibility study for Irai dam near Chandrapur. The dam is owned by Mahagenco. He added that "The study is nearly complete and the report will be submitted to us in a few weeks. If the report is positive we will go ahead will the project.”

According to the source, the floating solar panels will obviate the need for acquiring land and also reduce evaporation from dams.

The source further said that Mahagenco has done a ballpark calculation and estimated that 250MW could be generated through floating solar panels. He added that "In the first phase we will install floating panels in the feeder reservoirs of thermal power plants, owned by us. If the results are good we will seek permission from water resources department (WRD) to replicate the model on their dams.”

The projects are likely to be set up in the public private partnership mode through tariff-based competitive bidding.

At present, Mahagenco has 180MW grid-connected solar power capacity, including 5MW at Chandrapur, 125MW at Sakhri in Dhule and 50MW at Baramati.

The state government has set a target of increasing solar power generation by another 7,500MW by 2020. Mahagenco will execute projects for generating 2,500MW while Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) will contribute the remaining 5,000MW.

Of this 2,500MW, the generation company plans to add 500MW on its own land and using its own money. Another 500MW will be added through the solar park in Dondaicha (district Dhule). Around 1,500MW will come through sources including the grid-connected solar agriculture feeder scheme for which letters of intent for 204MW have been issued, solar lift irrigation schemes including 65MW at Mor dam in Jalgaon and 60MW Tembhu in Sangli and the floating solar panels on dams.

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Wed, 03 Jan 2018
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