The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is in talks with the Odisha government to develop 100 Mw floating Solar PV (photo voltaic) panels, harnessing the state’s unconventional source of energy.
“SECI has come up with a request to set up 100 Mw floating solar panels on Hirakud and Chiplima dams in Sambalpur district, among other places. They have expressed interest to help in conducting a review of the water bodies to gauge the viability of installing floating solar panels,” an SECI official said to Business Standard.
BS reported that a 100 Mw solar project can be developed on a water body with a surface area of one sqkilometre, the official said and added that the talks were at a nascent stage. Developing solar projects on the water bodies will further the state’s ability to fulfill Renewable Energy Policy, 2016, where it plans to add a capacity 2200 Mw of solar energy by 2022.
“Odisha is blessed with large water bodies like Hirakud, Chiplima and Jobra (in Cuttack) that can be used for putting up solar panels. The state government should make conscious efforts to develop the solar projects on water bodies as it will help the government in two ways.
First, the delay in land acquisition process can be overcome. Second, these large water bodies can be used to put up solar plants as they are lying unused,” said Swayam Prakash Baral, director at Canyon Consultancy, a Bhubaneswar-based renewable energy consultancy firm to Business Standard.The cost of developing per Mw of solar power on water bodies will be 15 per cent more than the cost of putting solar panels on land, added Baral.