The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has sent the state government of Odisha a proposal for setting up 500 MW of floating solar generation capacity at the Hirakud reservoir.
The national solar body has already had the green light from state officials for the construction of 40 MW of floating capacity at the Chiplima hydropower facility.
SECI’s new proposal follows an agreement in July by state-owned hydropower company NHPC and its Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Limited (GEDCOL) subsidiary to set up 500 MW of floating PV project capacity, in 50 MW arrays on reservoirs.
GEDCOL chief managing director Bishnupada Sethi said, at the time of the agreement, floating PV could be a game changer in Odisha as the state has limited access to non-forest, non-agricultural land for conventional solar projects. “The floating solar projects have an inherent advantage of conservation of land and the related cost to acquire and maintain the site,” said Sethi. “Other advantages include a decrease of temperature-related [energy yield] losses due to [the] cooling effect [on panels installed above water] and [a] reduction of water evaporation.”
Odisha, which has only 362 MW of solar generation capacity at present, will need a monumental effort to hit the solar target it laid down in 2016, which called for 2.2 GW of generation capacity by 2022.
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