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Clean Power solar canals

Published on March 24th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

11

India’s Solar Canals

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March 24th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
 
Reposted from Solar Love:

I recently ran across this awesome image from Greenpeace International over on Google+:

solar canals

Luckily, the Google+ share also included a link to an Indian business site that had more details. The Hindu Business Line writes:

Close on heels of commencing use of wastelands in northern districts and rooftops in towns and cities, Gujarat is set to potentially use the existing 19,000 km-long network of Narmada canals across the State for setting up solar panels to generate power.

The Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, will inaugurate the first of a series of this project, known as Canal Solar Power Project, when he launches a 1 megawatt (mw) pilot project, which is already commissioned, on Narmada branch canal near Chandrasan village of Kadi taluka in Mehsana district on Tuesday.



 
However, this can’t be new, since the date on the article is April 23 (no year) and the next line is: “Last week, he inaugurated a 600-MW solar power project spread across 11 districts. This included a 214MW Solar Power Park, the largest such generation centre at a single location in Asia.” This occurred last April. I assume the canal solar project is now complete and solar power is being generated for the local communities, but I’m not actually finding any updates to the original story. So, for now, here are just some more details from The Hindu Business Line:

The pilot project has been developed on a 750-m stretch of the canal by Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSECL) with support from Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL), which owns and maintains the canal network….

The pilot project will generate 16 lakh units of clean energy per annum and also prevent evaporation of 90 lakh litres of water annually from the canal….

The cost of per megawatt of solar power, in this case, is likely to be much less than the estimated Rs 10-11 crore, as the two banks of the canal will be used to cover the canal by installing solar power panel and the government will not have to spend much on creating basic infrastructure, including land acquisition….

When completed, the SSNNL’s canal network will be about 85,000 km long.

Assuming a utilisation of only 10 per cent of the existing canal network of 19,000 km, it is estimated that 2,200 MW of solar power generating capacity can be installed by covering the canals with solar panels.

This also implies that 11,000 acres of land can be potentially conserved along with about 2,000 crore litres of water saved per annum.

Seems like a logical combination.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Mohan Raj

    So Clean Electricity is generated and at the same time, the Water evaporation is reduced and also there is no need to cut down trees for land. In fact the panels can be placed above the railway tracks as well.

  • Otis11

    I’ve been saying they should do this with the canal moving water to Phoenix!

    Think about it – A city in the Arizona with some of the best irradiation in the US, and the water needs are completely supplied by a canal… Where better to locate them?

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Definitely!

  • niladri mantena

    Mr. Modi is the ONLY Indian capable leader who can deliver on his word.
    The rest of them are mere corrupt dummies that milk India’s resources.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Hechtman/765319504 John Hechtman

    Please view (and sign) my petition on Change.org regarding a similar concept – putting solar grids above public roads. It’s at this URL:
    http://www.change.org/petitions/federal-state-and-local-governments-grid-the-roads-install-solar-cells-above-all-public-roads#

    Any questions, please email me: jhecht@ix.netcom.com – thanks!

  • Ronald Brakels

    There is plenty of room on roofs for solar power in India, but India’s solar is mostly utility scale and not rooftop for several reasons, one of the most important being that electricity is subsidised. This means it can be possible for a utility to save more money from installing solar panels than a household. (Of couse, provided they have a cut off switch, the household can enjoy solar electricity when the grid is down, so there is still an incentive for point of use solar.)

  • http://xeeme.com/MrEnergyCzar MrEnergyCzar

    Very unique story… will have to work it into my news show if I can find a video of it…

    MrEnergyCzar

  • http://twitter.com/mridul Mridul Chadha

    Actually, Gujarat was not the first state to come up with such a project. Punjab had approved such a project in early 2011 but the project has been suffering from delays. The program will be more beneficial to Punjab than to Gujarat as Punjab has no or little wasteland to generate solar power (I discuss this in an upcoming article). Now another company, Damodar Valley Corporation (based in eastern India), is planning to set up such projects over its 2,000 km canal network.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.t.peffly Matthew Todd Peffly

    In the US, there is so much space that can be “reuse” for PV that we wouldn’t need new land for a long time. Lots of big flat roofs, and parking lots. Cincinnati Zoo did their lot, now when you return from the zoo in the summer the inside of the car isn’t 150.

    • jlmur

      How cool.

    • sault

      There’s plenty of open land in the U.S. that just sits idle too. A lot of it is grass that requires wasteful mowing every now and then, like land surrounding airports and inside highway medians, and presents a continuous financial drain on the government / entity charged with mowing it. Covering this land with solar panels would either reduce the frequency with which it would need to be mowed or eliminate this requirement entirely.

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