Originally published on CleanTechies.
Following Gujarat’s lead in the implementation of innovative canal-top solar power projects, other Indian states are also looking to set up similar projects.
According to recent media reports, the states of Punjab and Andhra Pradesh have announced the commissioning of canal-top solar power projects. The Punjab government commissioned two projects with a total installed capacity of 5 MW. Andhra Pradesh commissioned a 400 kW project and is supplying power to 5 villages.
While the capital cost involved in the implementation of such projects is significantly higher than the utility-scale or even rooftop projects, there are other benefits of canal-top solar power projects, with the most important being reduced loss of water from evaporation.
Indian states and companies have announced ambitious plans to set up canal-top solar power projects. In 2014, Punjab announced plans to set up 1,000 MW of solar PV projects to cover several kilometers of canals over the next three years. The state government targets the covering of 5,000 km of canals across the state. Through this program, the government hopes to generate 15% of the state’s total electricity demand.
More recently, Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) floated tenders for the preparation of detailed project reports for setting up solar power projects over water bodies in the state. The company plans to set up 1,250 MW solar power capacity over canals, lakes, and reservoirs.
In 2014, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued guidelines to set up 100 MW of solar power capacity (PDF) over and along the canals in the country. The program will see solar photovoltaic power projects of capacities ranging from 1 to 10 MW installed over canals, and on the banks of the canals, in India.
Reprinted with permission.