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Hirakud Dam in Odisha will soon have a 40 MW floating solar power plant over one sq km area at an estimated cost of Rs 200 crore.
The project is not only seen as a step towards production of green energy, it will also meet the power requirements of the State to some extent.
“Given the vast water mass Hirakud dam has, we can get renewable solar energy by installing solar panels,” said Anand Chandra Sahu, chief engineer of Hirakud Dam.
He further informed that, The agency which was engaged by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to conduct survey and investigation for the proposed project has completed the same in the month of July-August this year and it will be submitting its pre-feasibility report soon.
Sahu said that after the submission of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) by the agency and work on the project is expected to start in the next financial year.
The concerned agency undertook a survey over 10 sq km area in the right dyke of the reservoir where the water level is deeper and the floating solar power plant will be set up on suitable 1 sq km of area, Sahu added.
“Since it will entail a cost of Rs 4-5 crore per MW, the project is estimated to cost around Rs 200 crore. Solar power is green energy and green energy is the demand of the hour. The cost per MW will be a little higher as compared to hydropower but the maintenance cost is almost zero,” the Chief Engineer said.
On being asked whether the project would affect the migratory birds which come to the reservoir during winter, Sahu said that the impact will be minimal as solar panels of the project would encroach only 1 sq km of the 743 sq km area of the reservoir.
The project will also reduce evaporation of the reservoir’s water, he added.