The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has given its nod to set up a hybrid power project on the Middle Vaitarna Dam. It has become the first civic body in the country to develop such a project.
The Middle Vaitarna Dam supplies water to Mumbai’s metropolitan region.
Speaking to Mercom, an official from MCGM said, “The MCGM has approved a proposal to form a joint venture between Shapoorji Pallonji & Company and Mahalaxmi Konal Urja. The hydroelectric project will have a capacity of 20 MW, and the floating solar project a capacity of 80 MW. The project will generate 208 MUs of electricity and help MCGM save ₹240 million (~$3.28 million) in power bills. The civic body will buy power at the rate of ₹4.75 (~$0.065)/kWh for 25 years from these companies.”
In November last year, MCGM had floated a tender to develop 100 MW of floating solar-hydropower hybrid power project at the state’s Vaitarna dam. The targeted electricity generation per year was 67.98 MUs from the hydro project and 140.58 MUs from the floating solar project.
The addition of floating solar projects on the top of water bodies, which already have hydropower stations, can annually generate around 7.6 TW of clean energy from the solar photovoltaic systems alone, according to a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Maharashtra is planning to develop four floating solar power projects at four dams. The backwaters of Wardha, Bebala, Khadakpurna, and Pentakli dams were selected for setting up the floating solar panels as per the Swiss Challenge method, under which the government publishes the first detailed proposal regarding a project and asks others to add to the initial proposal. Then, the final counterproposal is presented to the first bidder, who is asked to accept it. If the first bidder doesn’t accept it, the chosen counterproposal wins.
Floating solar has gained traction in India mainly due to the availability of a large number of dams, lakes, and reservoirs where such projects can be easily installed, given the increasing difficulty in acquiring land for the development of large-scale projects.
Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.