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Orissa government begins land search for 25 MW solar park

According to reports, the Orissa government is in the process of identifying 50 hectares of land in Nuapada district for establishment of a solar park with capacity of 25 MW.

“The state’s nodal agency for land acquisition- Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) will identify 50 hectares of land for the solar park in Nuapada district. The state department of science & technology has already submitted a proposal for the solar park to the Government of India,” Niranjan Pujari, minister for science & technology informed the state assembly.

It may be noted that the state has targeted 50 MW solar power generation in 2012-13.

Recently, Kolkata-based Alex Astral Power Private Ltd bagged the contract for setting up of a 25 MW solar power plant in Orissa. The total project cost is estimated at Rs 300 crore. The project is likely to be set up in Bolangir district considering the amount of solar radiation the area gets.

After completion of the project, Alex will sell solar energy at Rs 7 per unit to Gridco and in turn, the bulk power power purchaser will agree to buy power from Alex for a period of 25 years.

The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is expected to be signed in the last week of April this year. The project will have 70:30 debt-equity ratio. The first solar power plant in the state with a capacity of one MW was launched by Hyderabad-based Raajratna Energy Holdings Private Limited (REHPL).

This power project was commissioned in a record time of five months at an estimated cost of Rs 16-17 crore. To give a boost to solar power generation, Gridco had signed PPAs with eight solar developers, each with a capacity of 1 MW. It had also inked MoU with Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) to avail generation based incentive (GBI) under the Rooftop Photovoltaic and Small Solar Generation Programme (RPSSGP) scheme.

In addition, Gridco had also entered into power sale agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd, a 100 per cent subsidiary of NTPC Ltd, to avail solar power bundled with equivalent capacity of thermal power from unallocated share of upcoming NTPC stations under ‘New Solar Projects’ scheme of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Under the scheme, 20 MW of solar power has been allocated to Gridco.

The National Tariff Policy mandates each state electricity regulatory commission (SERC) to specify a renewable energy purchase obligation (RPO) in a time-bound manner.

The Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has fixed RPO of five per cent for 2011-12 of which 0.1 per cent would be from solar power.

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