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Gedcol inks pact with NHPC for Floating Solar projects

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Gedcol inks pact with NHPC for Floating Solar projects

Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Ltd (GEDCOL), a leading state PSU in the renewable energy Sector and NHPC Limited, a leading Central PSU in the power sector signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Monday through Video Conferencing for the purpose of Development of Floating Solar Projects In Odisha.

Among the dignitaries, Vivek Patnaik, superannuated IAS officer, Jugal Kishore Mohapatra, former Odisha Chief Secretary & Independent Director, NHPC, Dr Saurabh Garg, Principal Secretary, Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment and CMD, GRIDCO & OPTCL, Nikunja Bihari Dhal, Principal Secretary, Energy Department, Bishnupada Sethi, Principal Secretary, Revenue & Disaster Management Department and Chairman-cum-M.D., GEDCOL and Abhay Kumar Singh, CMD of NHPC Ltd. were present.

Dibya Shankar Mishra, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Energy, Industry & MSME graced the occasion as Chief Guest. In his remarks, the minister congratulated both the organizations and expected that the MoU will further bolster the renewable energy aspirations of the state, which are being planned in line with the Government of India commitments towards Climate Change and Carbon Neutrality.    

The MoU has been signed by G R Das, Chief Executive Officer on behalf of GEDCOL and R K Jaiswal, Executive Director (RE) on behalf of NHPC.   

This Memorandum provides a framework under which GEDCOL and NHPC shall collaborate and cooperate to form a Joint Venture Company (JVC) to explore, identify, plan & develop techno-commercially feasible floating solar power projects of aggregate 500 MW capacity (in a phased manner) in various reservoirs in Odisha in Joint Venture mode under Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Power Parks (UMREPPs) Scheme of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Government of India.

In states like Odisha, where availability of large & 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.

Floating Solar projects have an inherent advantage of conservation of land and the related cost to acquire & maintain the site. Other advantages include, decrease of temperature-related losses due to cooling effect and reduction of water evaporation etc.

This will help the state in achieving the targets set under the Odisha Renewable Energy Policy, 2016 for setting up 2200 MW Solar and 550 MW Non-Solar Renewable projects by 2022. Present Renewable Energy installed capacity in the State is 362 MW Solar and 77 MW Non-Solar.

GRIDCO is further procuring 75 MW Solar and 150 MW Wind Power from outside. The state requires another 2000 MW Solar capacity (1000 MW towards Solar RPO and 1000 MW for Non-Solar RPO converted to Solar RPO) by 2020 to meet the RPO trajectory set by Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.  

The total estimated investment shall be to the tune of Rs. 2500 Crore. The incubation period for conceiving each SPV Project would be around 7-8 months including DPR preparation and award of work through EPC bidding with the e-Reverse Auction process. Approximate completion time for each conceived project will be around 18 months. The first phase work of the project is likely to be commissioned by March 2022. 

The development of floating solar projects in Odisha shall be a win-win proposition for the people of the State and the state government as it would bring employment generation and shall result into Solar developmental activities at the remotest areas.

Further, due to the renewable nature of Solar energy, the generated Solar power shall help the State Government to fulfil its Renewable Power Obligations. The newly emerging technology of Floating Solar shall lessen the land-use competition as wide-spread installation of ground-mounted solar plant requires large patches of contiguous land.

Moreover, installation of floating solar power plants over natural water resources shall also reduce the evaporation loss thereby avoiding the loss of water. Thus, Floating Solar development initiative shall be helpful in providing food and energy security to the State. Clean and Green energy from natural resources shall support Man, Environment and Planet in a bigger way.

Article Written By TIT Bureau

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