THE STATE energy department has reportedly received responses from over 20 firms for setting up floating solar panels on the water surface of Ujjani Dam in Solapur. This, said sources, will set into motion the government’s plan to set up a 1,000-MW solar power plant on the dam.
In a first in Maharashtra, the government has decided to set up floating photovoltaic panels on the water surface of the dam to generate solar energy worth 1 GW. Earlier this month, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has issued an expression of interest from solar energy project developers. “We have received responses from around 24 firms that are eligible and interested to bid for the project. Since it is a first-of-its-kind project in the state, we lack the technical expertise. So, we will hold meetings with the firms to understand the various ways in which the system could work,” said an official.
A tender will be issued shortly and the power purchase agreement will be valid for 25 years, he added. The solar panels, installed on an area of around 2,000 ha on the water surface of Ujjani reservoir, is also expected to reduce evaporation of water and ultimately, reduce loss. “Given that the high cost of land in Maharashtra, a project like this will eliminate the need for acquiring land,” said the official. The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company, which currently generates only 180 MW solar energy, is also planning a similar project of 250 MW on Irai dam in Chandrapur.
Meanwhile, the state-owned discom has issued a tender to purchase solar energy worth 1,000 MW from private generators to achieve the government’s aim to increase its solar energy capacity to 25,000 MW by 2025.
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