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Solar power to illuminate 3,000 villages in Orissa

BS Reporter  |  Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar 

More than 3000 villages in Orissa would be covered under the Remote Village Electrification Programme (RVEP), being implemented by the Orissa Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA), by December 2011. The state energy department would soon notify the identified villages, including those in the naxal affected areas, for this purpose. This was decided in a high level meeting chaired by the chief minister Naveen Patnaik in the state secretariat.

RVEP, which started from 2007-08, is being implemented by the Orissa Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA), the nodal agency of the Orissa government to promote new and renewable energy in the state. It has made substantial headway with the identification of 1080 villages for electrification under the programme. While 659 projects were sanctioned, 249 villages have been electrified under the scheme. Besides, the survey is in progress in 256 villages of the state.

In all these villages, the conventional grid extension is either not feasible or not cost effective. Under the programme, provision is made for minimum illumination to all households, 2 CFL bulbs of 9 watt per household and one street light of 11 watt per every ten houses for community use. Meanwhile, the state has received proposals for setting up of solar power plants with aggregate generation capacity of 449 Mw.

The State Technical Committee (STC), headed by the secretary in the science and technology department, has cleared proposals worth 294 Mw. About Rs 5292 crore is expected to be invested in these projects.

First Published: Wed, April 07 2010. 00:24 IST