According to the MoU, OREDA and SECI will develop grid-connected agro-photovoltaic projects in Odisha. In agro-photovoltaic projects, the same land is utilized both to harvest solar energy and to carry out agricultural activities.
SECI said that the agricultural land would be taken up under the ‘Annual Lease Model’ from interested farmers. The government will directly execute the lease deed for a period of 25 years with the farmers without involving any brokers, SECI added.
According to SECI, this will directly benefit farmers as they can carry on farming activities on the leased agricultural land while earning a determined lease amount of ₹20,000 (~$ 269.83)/acre annually from the government.
SECI added that it is currently developing a 40 MW ground-mounted solar project in Kantamal tehsil of Boudh district and another 40 MW floating solar project on the Hirakund dam in Sambalpur district of Odisha. Mercom earlier reported that the World Bank had floated an expression of interest seeking consulting firms to help explore the potential of this floating solar project in Odisha.
Last month, the Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency invited bids for a 10 MW solar power project in the Junagarh block of Kalahandi district. Earlier this year, NHPC Limited also signed an MoU with Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Limited. As part of the MoU, both the parties would collaborate to form a joint venture company to develop floating solar projects of nearly 500 MW in the state.
Odisha has been opting for innovative ways of encouraging solar power in the state; solar cold storage, manufacturing hubs, and off-grid applications such as solar trees, solar drinking water kiosks, and off-grid solar power projects with battery storage (Konark).
According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Odisha has installed around 417 MW of solar projects, with another 55 MW of solar projects currently in the pipeline.
Image credit: By Akmu.cazri – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Harsh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.