It is not only touted as first such project in UP, but also the largest floating solar energy project in India. The project would come up at the existing Rihand hydro power project of UP Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (UPJVNL) at Sonbhadra in the arid Bundelkhand region, bordering Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar.
ReNew Power and Shapoorji Pallonji will develop 100 mw and 50 mw of the solar power capacity, respectively, UP energy minister Shrikant Sharma told the media after the state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Adityanath cleared the proposal this afternoon.
Sharma said the companies would supply solar power to state power utility UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) for the next 25 years after commissioning, at the rate of Rs 3.36 per unit.
“The PPAs signed under previous governments were steeper and had burdened the consumers with high tariffs. We are trying to offload high tariffs by signing PPAs having cheaper rates,” he informed.
The project would take 21 months to complete, once started, since it would not entail any land acquisition. Since, it would utilise the same power evacuation lines currently used by hydro power project, the capital expenditure (capex) has been lower. Besides, it would arrest the evaporation of water from the Rihand reservoir during the daytime.
He said the two companies had won the project after competitive bidding, conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India, while state energy regulator UP Electricity Regulatory Authority (UPERC) had approved these proposals recently.
The Adityanath government is planning to build renewable energy capacity of 10,700 mw in the near future. The government is even promoting roof top solar power installations to encourage households generate captive solar energy for consumption.
Earlier, the Adityanath government had even forwarded a proposal to the Centre for developing a Rs 4,000 crore Green Energy Corridor in Bundelkhand.
On account of rising power demand due to incremental growth and the government’s target to provide metered electricity to all the households, the state has projected the total power supply to touch 30,000 mw by 2024.
The state plans to invest Rs 20,000 crore in ramping up state power transmission infrastructure over the next 5 years. In 2016, the peak hour power demand was only 16,500 mw. The policy of electrifying all households in the urban and rural areas, coupled with incremental demand is pushing up power consumption in the state.
UP increased power transmission capacity 60% from 15,000 mega volt amp (MVA) in 2017 to the current level of 24,000 mva. The government is working on the entire power matrix including generation, transmission and distribution.