Bhubaneswar: In a bid to develop floating solar power projects with a total capacity of 500 MW, the Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Limited (GEDCOL) and the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) on Monday signed an agreement to form a joint venture company, an official said.
The JVC will implement the project in a phased manner in various reservoirs of Odisha in joint venture mode under Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Power Parks (UMREPPs) scheme of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
In Odisha, where availability of large and contiguous patches of non-forest, non-agricultural, barren lands suitable for land-based solar projects are limited, floating solar projects can be a game-changer, said GEDCOL Chairman-cum-Managing Director, BP Sethi.
The floating solar projects have an inherent advantage of conservation of land and the related cost to acquire and maintain the site, Sethi said. Other advantages include decrease of temperature-related losses due to cooling effect and reduction of water evaporation.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) will help the state in achieving the targets set under the Odisha Renewable Energy Policy, 2016 for setting up 2,200 MW solar and 550 MW non-solar renewable projects by 2022.
The present renewable energy installed capacity of the state is divided between solar power at 362 MW and 77 MW energy from non-solar sources, he said. The GRIDCO is further procuring 75 MW solar and 150 MW wind power from outside, the official said.
The state requires another 2,000 MW solar capacity (1,000 MW towards Solar RPO (Renewable Purchase Obligation) and 1,000 MW for Non-Solar RPO converted to Solar RPO) by 2020 to meet the RPO trajectory set by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
“The total estimated investment will be to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore. The incubation period for conceiving each special purpose vehicle (SPV) project would be around 7-8 months and the approximate completion time for each conceived project will be about 18 months,” Sethi said.
The first phase work of the project is likely to be commissioned by March, 2022, he said.
The development of floating solar projects in Odisha will be a win-win proposition for the people as it would generate employment, lessen the requirement of land and evaporation of water.
Installation of floating solar power plants over natural water resources will reduce evaporation loss thereby avoiding the loss of water. So floating solar development initiative will be helpful in providing food and energy security to the state, he said.
Energy Minister D S Mishra, during the signing of the MoU through video conferencing, congratulated both the organisations and expressed hope that the agreement would boost the renewable energy aspirations of the state.