The development of the 1000 Mw solar park proposed in Odisha is in slow lane as the state government is yet to identify 5,000 acres of land required for the project.
Even after two years of approval of the project by the Union government, the officials in the state are finding it extremely difficult in finding flat, non-agricultural and non-forest land for the purpose. Earlier, the state government had identified about 3,000 acres of land in Balasore district but it turned out to be swampy making it unfeasible for the setting up the park.
Officials said, the land bank of Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) also did not meet the criteria for the development of the park.
“Recently, the district collectors have been asked to identify about 500 acres contiguous patch of land so that the park can be developed in clusters “, said an official.
After the cancellation of the land identified in Balasore, about 1,200 acres of land is identified in Cuttack, Boudh and Deograh districts but a final call is yet to be taken. “We are hopeful that a fresh DPR (detailed project report) will be submitted to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) soon”, he added.
The park, to be developed in a public-private partnership (PPP) model, is likely to see an investment of Rs 5,000 crore.
Together, 21 states, including Odisha, have proposed to develop 34 solar parks with aggregate capacity of 20000 Mw in country.
The development of the project holds key as the state government in its newly approved Renewable Energy Policy-2016, plans to add a capacity of 2200 Mw of solar energy by 2022. As per estimates by KPMG, this needs an investment of Rs 13,500 crore. It may be noted that Odisha receives an average solar radiation of 5.5 kWh/square meter area with an average CUF (Capacity Utilisation Factor) ranging from 15-17 per cent across the districts and around 300 clear sunny days every year.