Maharashtra to get 500 MW floating solar plants in four dams


Maharashtra, the state which is reeling under draught like situation, is mulling to set up floating solar power plants in four dams. Total 500 MW of capacity shall be set up at an investment of around Rs 4.45 crore per MW.

A committee headed by the executive director of the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation is currently scrutinising the detailed project report and drafting the tenders, news agency PTI quoted state water resources minister Girish Mahajan while sharing the details.

The floating solar projects—planned in the backwaters of Wardha, Bebala, Khadakpurna and Pentakli dams—shall be awarded as per the Swiss Challenge method, reported PTI.

In the Swiss challenge system, any person with suitable credentials can submit a development proposal to the government for a public project. The proposal is then put online and a second party can give suggestions to improve and challenge that proposal.

Taking the water route

There are no land acquisition hassles with floating solar plants. Further, solar panels help reduce evaporation from reservoirs, even as the lower temperature helps improve power generation.

The state government of draught-hit Maharashtra is looking at installation of floating solar panels on reservoirs to help reduce evaporation and conserve water, daily newspaper Tribune reported earlier while adding that as much as 17% of the live storage capacity in Marathwada’s dams is lost to evaporation every year.

Evaporation can be brought down by as much as 70% through installation of solar power plants, an official told the newspaper.

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