Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) has finalised plans to set up a 10-MW solar power generation plant on Sardar Sarovar canal. SSNNL, which is developing the multi-thousand km-long canal network to take irrigation water to parched areas of Saurashtra and Kutch, will invest around Rs120 crore for the 10-MW solar power project. The 10-MW plant will generate around 16 million units of electricity every year, which will be fed into the grid.
"The 1-MW canal-top project, which became operational last year, has been highly successful. We plan to replicate the success with a bigger, 10-MW project, on the Narmada canal," state energy minister Saurabh Patel said. The location of the proposed solar plant has not been finalised yet, but it is expected to come up in Vadodara district.
"There are two–three locations in Vadodara which are presently being considered. One of them will be finalised in the next couple of weeks. The project will make rapid progress as we plan to invite bids very soon," said a senior official.
For the project, solar panels will be installed atop the canal for generating power. The panels will end up covering nearly 10 km of the canal's stretch. The canal-top project will do away with the need to acquire land for putting up the panels. It will also prevent evaporation of millions of litres of water from the canal.
This would be the second canal-top project in the state and in the country, the first being the 1-MW project near Kadi taluka of Mehsana, which was commissioned in April last year. The expenditure incurred for the 1-MW project was in excess of Rs17 crore, but the cost of panels has come down, and the estimated expenditure is Rs11 – 12 crore per MW.