Gujarat govt gearing up for 100 MW solar power project atop Narmada canal

Gujarat government-owned Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam (SSNNL) is reportedly gearing up to set up a 100 MW canal-top solar power project atop the branch canals of river Narmada. SSNNL was formed for the construction of India’s third-highest concrete dam, Sardar Sarovar Dam. The floating solar project will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore reports Financial Times.

SSNNL has sought the approval of MNRE for the canal-top solar project.

“Installation of solar panels for 100 MW power generation would cover nearly 40-km canal. As per experts’ calculation, an area of 4-km branch canal required for solar panel in order to generate 10 MW power. Due to solar panel, evaporation of water would be reduced and more water would be available for irrigation purpose,” said a source to the publication. He further added ““We are expecting the Union ministry’s approval in the next three-four months. After that, solar panel installation work would kick-start which will take another three months.”

In central Gujarat sub-canals are ideally located for canal-top solar projects as these face south-east direction which could fetch maximum sunlight for power generation.

Narmada Main Canal is the biggest lined irrigation canal in the world. It is about 458.318 km long up to the Gujarat-Rajasthan border.

The complete network of Narmada Canals spans nearly 70,000 km which includes main branch canals, sub-branch canals and smaller canals reaching up to farms across Gujarat.

Gujarat was the first state in India to set up a canal-top solar project in 2014.

Meanwhile, Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam (GUVNL) has floated tender inviting bids for 1 GW of solar power capacity at Dholera solar power park. The Dholera solar power park is said to be India’s largest at 5 GW capacity.

Currently, Gujarat has an installed solar power capacity of 1.7 GW and the state expects it to augment to 8.8 GW by March 2022.


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