Hyderabad: Telangana is poised to become the first State in the country to have a floating solar power plant that would chip in with electricity supply to major lift irrigation projects. The Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation Ltd (TSREDCO) has sent the proposal for a floating 100 MW solar power project in Mid Manair Reservoir to the State government and is waiting for its nod.
The idea is to save valuable stretches of land required to set up solar power plants and also to reduce evaporation from reservoirs. It is estimated that the State’s lift irrigation schemes require around 7,000 MW of power and setting up solar units requires huge tracts of land. Hence, the corporation proposed floating solar units. “Our proposal is for Kaleshwaram reservoirs. We have surveyed Mid Manair and found it suitable to install and produce up to 500 mw of solar power. Initially, we will set up 100 MW as a pilot project and based on its success, we will upscale the generation to 500 MW using other reservoirs,” TSREDCO Vice-Chairman and Managing Director N Janaiah told Telangana Today. Stating that the floating solar projects won’t hurt fisheries, he said: “The power can be evacuated to the nearby substation. It has multiple advantages; this power can be used for lift irrigation pumping loads, and costs less at Rs 2.75 to Rs 3.50 per unit. It is estimated that expenditure per MW will be around Rs 4 crore for installation of the solar power plant. The Union government is also ready invest in this project.”
TSREDCO has also come up with another novel proposal for the HMWSSB. The Water Board spends 80 per cent of its total revenue on power bills, and hence, it was proposed that pump houses and reservoirs could be used to produce 31.5 MW of power. The solar units will be installed on all the HMWSSB properties such as water tanks, buildings etc. This is expected to produce at least one lakh units of power every day. The corporation is inviting investors guaranteeing them returns on their investments in 4 to 5 years.