Following the successful commissioning of India’s largest Floating Solar PV plant at NTPC Simhadri in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha too will have its first floating power plant at Hirakud Dam in Sambalpur soon.
While a survey for the pilot project has already been conducted, construction work is expected to start soon. In the first phase, the plant will produce 40 MW power.
The project is not only seen as a step towards production of green energy, it will also meet the power requirements of the State to some extent.
The solar panels, which have a life-span of 25 years, will be installed in such a manner that they won't need any shifting in case the water level in the dam increases or decrease.
This project work will be executed by the Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI), a CPSU under the administrative control of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
The Grid Corporation of Odisha (GRIDCO) will purchase the power generated from the project, sub-station of which will be set up at Kantapali in Bargarh district.
As per reports, survey of 10 square kilometer of the dam has already been completed, of which the project will come up in 1 square kilometer.
Around Rs 200 crore will be invested in the project, which has already got the nod of the Odisha Water Resources and the Energy departments.
“Given the vast water mass Hirakud dam has, we can get renewable solar energy by installing solar panels,” said Anand Chandra Sahu, chief engineer of Hirakud Dam.
It is pertinent to mention here that there were three main reasons behind the construction of Hirakud Dam – mitigation of flood, irrigation and power generation.
While the dam has 275 MW power generation capacity, only 70 MW power is being produced for various reasons.
“Evaporation loss is more than the industrial use of water from the dam. If the solar panels are installed, the evaporation loss can be minimised,” said Sahu.