The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has proposed that the town of Konark go the complete route to renewable, sustainable energy — 100% solar energy. That’s fitting since the Konark Sun Temple is located there.
The state of Odisha, where Konark is located, is no stranger to 21st century solar power. In 2015, it announced plans for a 1 gigawatt (GW) solar power plant. In 2016, Sonthalia Group unveiled plans for a 600 megawatt (MW) solar power plant, and the state announced plans for 70 MW of rooftop solar.
The MNRE news calls for the town to install a 10 MW grid-connected solar project. PV magazine India highlights that off-grid solar applications like solar trees, solar drinking water kiosks, and off-grid solar power plants with battery storage will also be part of a new life of the town.
The project will be implemented by Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA), with 100% central financial assistance (CFA) of around Rs 25 crore through MNRE.
PV magazine India reports that power minister R.K. Singh said, “The government of India launched the scheme with an objective to take forward the Prime Minister’s vision to develop the historical Sun temple town of Konark in Odisha as ‘Surya Nagri,’ to convey a message of synergy between the modern use of solar energy and the ancient Sun Temple and the importance of promoting solar energy.”