NAGPUR: MSEDCL’s 1,000MW solar floating plant at Ujani dam in Solapur district has evoked tremendous response with 12 top companies participating in the pre-bid meeting held in Mumbai. Interestingly, Mahagenco had planned to set up a floating solar plant in its Irai dam (district Chandrapur). However, the consultant appointed by it found the proposal to be costly and the company dropped the project.
The plant will be developed through a private partner. The discom has finalized ten locations in the dam where panels having total capacity of 100MW would be installed. The power would be supplied to farmers of Solapur and adjoining districts. The panels would reduce evaporation from the dam and save 1,000 million cubic feet (TMC) water. Moreover, floating panels’ efficiency will be 6 to 7% more than normal ones.
The companies that participated in the pre-bid meeting are: Juniper Green, Solar Energy of India, EWGIE Solar, Shapurji Pallonji Infra, Adani Green, Adani Power, Marubani Corporation, Mytrah Energy (India), Giriraj Panawdle and Mahindra System.
MSEDCL officials said that all the companies were enthusiastic in participating in the project. The tender was floated on December 24 and will be opened on January 29.
Floating solar plants in the country are a rarity. At present the largest such plant is in Kerala having a capacity of 500 KW. Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) is developing a 270kW floating plant in Wadgaon dam (district Nagpur).
MSEDCL officials said that it would sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the developer for buying power for 25 years. “The maximum rate fixed by us is Rs3 per unit. We may appoint more than one company for the entire project as there are ten sites,” they said.
Energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has set a target of installing 7,500MW solar power plants in the state. Of this 2,500MW will be developed by Mahagenco with private help and remaining will be set up by other agencies including MSEDCL.