In a major push for the renewable energy sector and to overcome resistance to the acquisition of private land for infrastructure projects, the state government has set the ball rolling for floating solar power projects on large dams. This will see solar panels being installed on the Ujani dam, followed by sites like the Jaikwadi and Koyna reservoirs.
A senior official from the Maharashtra energy department said the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MahaVitaran) had floated expressions of interest (EoI) for a 1,000 MW floating solar power project at Ujani dam. The project will be awarded through the tariff-based competitive bidding method, where the bidder quoting the lowest tariff is selected. "After Ujani, we are planning to take up work at the Koyna dam in Satara district and the Jaikwadi dam in Aurangabad," he added.
At the Ujani dam, which is one of the largest in Maharashtra, and a crucial water supply and irrigation source for Solapur district, the project will cover 2,000 hectare or less than 1/15th of the total 34,000 hectare area of the reservoir. The bureaucrat said with a 1,000 MW capacity, this would be among the largest floating solar power project in India.
"A total of 24 parties have responded to the EoI. A six-member committee is looking into the environmental and other aspects of the project," the official said.