So far, solar canal bank and canal top projects aggregating 24 MW have been commissioned in India. These projects are part of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE’s) program to develop 100 MW of grid-connected solar PV power projects on canal banks and canal tops throughout the country. Under the program, projects aggregating another 50 MW are expected to be commissioned by April 2017.
The canal bank and canal top solar project program was launched in financial year 2014-15. Under this program, solar projects are under development in eight different states (50 MW – Canal Banks and 50 MW – Canal Tops), including Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. Project capacities range from a minimum of 1 MW to a maximum of 10 MW.
The MNRE is providing a subsidy of Rs.30 million (~$0.45 million)/MW of installed capacity for canal bank projects and a subsidy of Rs.1.5 million (~$0.22 million)/MW of installed capacity for canal top projects.
The second phase of the canal bank and canal top solar project programs will be launched in 2018, stated a Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) official. Certain issues need to be resolved in Karnataka, where a 10 MW canal top project is to be constructed, added the SECI official.
The SECI official also said, “In Punjab there were technical issues, but the state is on track to commission the remaining 15 MW.”
To date, central financial assistance of Rs.304.164 million (~$4.55 million) has been released by SECI under this program. The MNRE had allocated Rs.690 million (~$10.33 million) as central finance assistance to be provided under the canal bank and canal top solar project program.