Mega solar project in Purulia, West Bengal
The state government has placed a proposal to the Centre for setting up a 250MW solar power project near the Purulia Pumping Storage Project (PPSP) at Baghmundi for an estimated cost of Rs 1,700 crore.
This will be the world’s biggest solar power project if the state government can sort out the issues of land availability and funds and gets the nod from the ministry of new and renewable energy.
Power minister Manish Gupta spoke about the plan at a national seminar organized on Tuesday by Ashden India Renewable Energy Collective—a group of Indian Ashden award winners headed by solar power expert and former adviser to the state power department, S P Gon Chaudhuri. Gupta said discussions have taken place with central government officials on the proposed project. “The Centre has agreed in principle,” he said.
The biggest hurdle, however, before the state government is land. Officials said around 700 acres will be required for the project. “There are some matters regarding the location that have to be decided. The project will be either at PPSP at Baghmundi or at Thurga that is located nearby. A detailed project report is being prepared,” Gupta said.
The PPSP of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited has four units of 224MW hydel power each. Gupta said the proposal will have to be approved by the state finance department and in the state cabinet. The state wants grants under the national clean energy funds to execute the project.
Officials said the state government may not find it much difficult to get the required land as there are massive stretches of barren land in the proposed areas.
The PPSP site has been proposed by the state government as it is a natural source of water. “The plan is to pump the water through solar power. Once this happens, it will become a complete natural water pumping system using water and solar power,” Gon Chaudhuri said.
It was also announced at the seminar that Ashden India will prepare a rooftop solar power policy for Kolkata. “Funds worth Rs 22 lakh have been sanctioned through DFID for preparing the policy,” said Gon Chaudhuri.
“We are working on some mega schemes for rooftop solar schemes in the city,” said Gupta. British deputy high commissioner in eastern India, Scott Furssedonn Wood, was present in the seminar.
In Rajarhat New Town, which that has been declared as a solar city, the New Town Development Authority has already made it mandatory for all commercial and residential high-rise buildings to install rooftop solar panels to meet at least 2% of the buildings’ electrical load requirement.
Source: Times Of India