Odisha bets big on so­lar power, plans to set up 1,000-Mw park

THE PARK HAS BEEN FOR­MALLY AP­PROVED BY MIN­ISTRY OF NEW AND RE­NEW­ABLE EN­ERGY; LIKELY TO IN­VOLVE IN­VEST­MENT OF ABOUT RS 6,500 CR

Resource Digest - - CONTENTS -

Odisha has un­veiled an am­bi­tious plan to set up a 1,000-Mw so­lar park. "There is a pro­posal for set­ting up a 1,000-Mw so­lar park. The iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of land for the project is un­der­way. For set­ting up such a park, about 5,000 acres are re­quired. Since it is an up­hill task to get a con­tigu­ous patch of 5,000 acres in Odisha, the park might be de­vel­oped in clus­ters," said a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial in the know of the mat­ter.

The park, to be de­vel­oped on a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship mode, has been for­mally ap­proved by the Min­istry of New and Re­new­able En­ergy. It was likely to in­volve an in­vest­ment of about Rs 6,500 crore, the of­fi­cial said.

The state gov­ern­ment is ex­pected to com­mit a pro­vi­sion to buy 20 per cent of the power gen­er­ated from the park. Power pro­duc­ers would have an op­tion to sell the re­main­ing power out of Odisha at bi­lat­eral prices, upon se­cur­ing the first right of re­fusal from the state gov­ern­ment.

To de­velop the park, Green En­ergy De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion of Odisha Ltd (Ged­col) is likely to sign a pact with So­lar En­ergy Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia (SECI), af­ter se­cur­ing the ap­proval of the state gov­ern­ment. Ged­col is the nodal agency to ex­plore re­new­able en­ergy re­sources in the state.

"We have not de­cided (on the so­lar park) yet. Idco (Odisha In­dus­trial In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion) has been asked to iden­tify land. A de­ci­sion will be taken af­ter that," said Suresh Mo­ha­p­a­tra, en­ergy sec­re­tary, Odisha.

In Au­gust 2014, the Union re­new­able en­ergy min­istry had un­veiled a plan to de­velop 25 so­lar parks, each with ca­pac­ity of 500-1,000 Mw. Odisha planned to set up one such park, with 1,000-Mw ca­pac­ity, said Swayam Prakash Baral, di­rec­tor (busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and strat­egy) at Canyon Con­sul­tancy, a Bhubaneswar-based re­new­able en­ergy con­sul­tancy firm.

Odisha re­ceived av­er­age so­lar ra­di­a­tion of 5.5kWh/sqm, with about 300 clear, sunny days ev­ery year and so­lar power po­ten­tial of about 20,000 Mw, Baral added.

Due to high so­lar ir­ra­di­ance (mea­sure of so­lar ra­di­a­tion) in dis­tricts such as Nabarang­pur, Bolan­gir and Sun­der­garh, large so­lar power plants are likely to come up in th­ese dis­tricts. Cur­rently, Odisha had an in­stalled so­lar power ca­pac­ity of 64 Mw, Baral said. Ac­cord­ing to the SECI web­site, states such Mad­hya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Ra­jasthan, Ut­tar Pradesh, Gu­jarat, Te­lan­gana and Kar­nataka are keen to set up so­lar parks and ul­tra mega so­lar power projects.

The cen­tral gov­ern­ment has set a tar­get of gen­er­at­ing 175,000 Mw of power through re­new­able en­ergy sources by 2022. Of that, so­lar power would ac­count for 100,000 Mw, while 60,000 Mw would be gen­er­ated by har­ness­ing wind ca­pac­ity. Be­sides, 10,000 Mw and 5,000 Mw would come from bio­gas and small hy­dro projects, re­spec­tively

Fi­nal­i­sa­tion of Odisha’s re­new­able en­ergy pol­icy is in its last stages. In the draft pol­icy, the state gov­ern­ment had set an am­bi­tious tar­get of adding 3,000 Mw of re­new­able en­ergy ca­pac­ity by 2022 2,300 Mw in the so­lar sec­tor, 350 Mw from wind sources, 150 Mw from small hy­dro elec­tric­ity projects, 180 Mw from biomass and 20 Mw from mu­nic­i­pal solid waste.

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