Originally published on Cleantechies.
A government-owned power generation company in the western India state of Maharashtra has revealed expansive plans to utilize water bodies and generate solar power.
Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) recently floated tenders for the preparation of detailed project reports for setting up solar power projects over water bodies in the state.
Mahagenco plans to set up these projects in partnership with other government agencies that own these water bodies through a revenue sharing model. The company plans to set up projects on a) reservoirs and canals and, b) lakes and other water bodies.
The company aims to replicate the canal-top solar power projects implemented in the neighboring state of Gujarat. Canal-top solar power projects have the dual advantage of little to no requirement of land to set up the solar panels, thereby making substantial savings on the project’s capital cost, as well as limiting the loss of water from canals/reservoirs due to evaporation.
Water bodies owned by villages and local self-governing bodies will also be roped in to set up such solar power projects. Mahagenco plans to implement these projects through a net-metering scheme. Solar power projects set up at water bodies will produce electricity during the day and the local utility will supply electricity to villages during the night. The balance in electricity units will be settled on monthly basis. This will reduce the electricity bills for villagers and also improve electricity supply.
After the successful implementation of canal-top solar power projects in Gujarat, several other states have announced plans to implement similar projects. Punjab, Damodar Valley Corporation, and Kerala have publicly announced targets to set up projects over canals, reservoirs and other water bodies.
Image Credit: SunEdison
Reprinted with permission.