India’s Odisha and Rajasthan states push for renewable energy projects

In a bid to kick start agro-photovoltaic projects in Odisha, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has recently signed a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) to jointly develop the grid-tied agro-photovoltaic projects in the coastal state.

The installation will be carried out in a manner that the same land will be utilised for the generation of solar energy and agricultural harvesting.

Interested farmers can procure land under an ‘Annual Lease Model’, which the government will execute for 25 years.

The proposed project is expected to benefit the farmers in the state who will earn a lease amount of Rs 20,000 per acre in addition to their farming income.

The government of Odisha aims to meet its renewable purchase obligation by achieving a capacity of 1.5 GW by 2022.

In October 2020, OREDA had invited bids for the construction of a 10 MW solar power project in the Junagarh block of Kalahandi district in the state.

Additionally, Odisha has also initiated off-grid solar integration across Konark town which includes applications such as solar trees, solar drinking water kiosks, and off-grid solar power projects with battery storage.

SECI has also been involved with developments in the state with an ongoing 40 MW ground-mounted solar projects in the Boudh district of Odisha. The nodal agency is also in the process of installing a 40 MW floating solar projects in Sambalpur.

Rajasthan pushing for mega RE power park

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan government is all set to ink an MoU with SECI and the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to establish an Ultra Mega Renewal Energy (RE) Power Park.

The plans for the mega RE park, which will also illuminate India’s border areas with Pakistan is still being fine-tuned according to a senior official in SECI.

The park will have 8,000 megawatts (MW) capacity, which will comprise 4,310 MW of wind energy; 3,760 MW of solar energy and 120 MW of power from biomass.

Currently, Rajasthan’s solar generation capacity is 4,883 MW.

The Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL) would be signing a separate MoU with the NTPC and the SECI to formalise the government’s mega power project.

Rajasthan has over 1000 kilometre-long international border which is currently supplied power through traditional methods.

The annual spend on the power supply to the border areas is about Rs 40 crore, with the RE park, that cost is expected to be reduced to a third of the present cost. Moreover, the park will ensure uninterrupted power supply to the border areas.

Initial talks of the mega-project were held during a national seminar in Gujarat, earlier in the year.

Currently, according to industry sources, work to connect borders with solar energy is in progress. The state will soon ink an MoU with SECI and NTPC.

The Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL) intends to take a service charge under the MoU, which is Rs 2 lakh per MW, which will be used for the development in the state

Alongside, the Rajasthan government has also approved a proposal for setting up solar power parks to generate 10,000 MW green energy with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore.

The state has given nod to the proposal of Adani Green Energy Limited to set up solar power parks at five locations and a solar panel manufacturing unit which will generate around 7,500 direct and indirect jobs according to a press statement.

The firm will also set up units to manufacture solar equipment which will happen for the first time in Rajasthan at such a mega scale. The proposal received is the largest investment committed to the state in renewable energy generation; Rs 50,000 crore will be invested over the next 5-6 years. Five solar power parks will be set up in Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jalore, and Barmer.

Shampa Bahadur has been a business journalist for more than two decades. She has written for Business India, PTI Media TransAsia and India Infrastructure Publication Ltd among others. She has also written coffee table books. She can be reached at shampa@indoasiancommodities.in

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