Kolkata: In a unique initiative the state Power department, in collaboration with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), has decided to install a floating solar power plant on Bikramgarh Jheel in the southern fringes of the city. According to sources in the Power department, the plant would have a capacity of 300 KW and the power generated from the plant would be used for illuminating the Jheel during night. It has been learnt that as per the initial plans, the solar power produced by the plant will be sold to CESC during daytime.
A survey has already been conducted at the Jheel area to examine the viability of the project. A detailed project report has also been chalked out. The state Power department will provide technical support to the civic body, to set up the solar plants at Bikramgarh Jheel situated in Golf Green area. According to a senior official of the Power department, the project would cover an area of around 1 acre, out of the total 7.3 acre that the lake covers.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells will be placed on the lake’s surface. The Power department and KMC officials will adopt the procedure of echolocation to measure the depth of the lake and bathymetry will be used for mapping the lake floor. According to the sources in KMC, apart from installing a solar plant on the Jheel, a beautification drive has also been initiated in and around it. The total cost of the project may go up to Rs 4 crore. Installing the floating panels is a part of the state government’s initiative towards the development of solar plants in the state on a large scale. It may be mentioned that the state Power department has started a series of projects, giving thrust on the alternative sources of power. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also laid emphasis on solar energy, through a project called “Aloshree”. Under this project, solar plants are being set up on the roofs of various government offices across the state. It has also been learnt that more such projects will be taken up in the future. West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA) and the district officials have already identified the buildings where the solar panels could be installed. In many cases, the solar panels have already been set up on the roofs of various office buildings, schools and colleges. The state government has given a lot of stress on renewable energy. A great deal of work has already been done by the Power department to produce energy from solar power. Generating solar power has been given paramount importance, as it will not only reduce dependency on other energy sources, but will also help the government buildings develop energy required for their own consumption. The project also aims at installing a grid-connected solar system in government offices, which will prove handy in preserving the natural resources.