Home » Solar » Narmada canals of Gujarat can produce 2,200 MW of solar power, save 11,000 acres of land

Narmada canals of Gujarat can produce 2,200 MW of solar power, save 11,000 acres of land

According to reports, if even 10 per cent of the 19,000 km-long Narmada canal network in Gujarat is used for setting up canal-top solar panels, it has the potential to produce 2,200 MW of solar power, save 11,000 acres of land that would otherwise be used and prevent 2,000 crore of precious water from evaporation annually, the Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, said.

Also, canal-top solar power equipment produces 15 per cent more power than the plant set up on land as the water flowing underneath keeps the solar panels relatively cool and helps generate more power, he said. He was inaugurating India’s first 1 MW canal-based solar power project, commissioned on the Sanand branch canal near Chandrasan village of Kadi taluka, Mehsana district.

The State Government was compelled to take up this project through Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Ltd (GSECL), as no developer was ready to take the challenge at that time, he said.

The 1 MW plant, set up over a 750 meter-long stretch of the canal, commissioned in February, will generate 16 lakh units of clean electricity and prevent evaporation of 90 lakh litres of water from the canal annually.

The length of the Narmada Main Canal, constructed under the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP), is 458 km. The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) has so far constructed about 19,000 km long canal network, out of the 75,000 km planned for the entire project.

One comment

  1. Congratulations to your team, GEDA and the Principal Secretary (EPD) of Govt of Gujarat for taking an initiative to harness renewable energy on top of the canal.

    Though i come from Hydro Power back ground too, Though the initiative is to use the land on top of canal, we need to build an additional security in to the system to have UN INTERRUPTED POWER with following in mind:

    a). Normally, the side wall erosion takes place in canals (in some cases every year, which can be seen from PWD department or minor irrigation department expenses) or some times breach of canal wall happens as we have been observing since independence in various state irrigation projects, which is a routine tender and a business case for petty contractors who have dwelled two generations with this business opportunity as part of Canal Maintenance budget of State govt irrigation departments or such revenue schemes.

    b). The panels and its structures mounted above may cause hindrance to the repairs and it may even destroy few panels, thus, the tax payers have to pay for such losses or theft of panels due to various agencies / departments involved in repairs etc. Thus, the power generation MAY get stopped in reality. This repair of Canal wall MAY also create additional expenditure (additional burden on Gujarat’s Taxpayer) to maintain the Solar PV plant due to such losses or re installation (if panels are removed for removing the debris from the canal which is a practical difficulty) What is your view on the same ?

    c). As the Operation and Maintenance agency for Solar PV power generation will have its own security agency, it may be a good scheme to protect the CANAL BREACH at distributory (few miscreants may break the wall in the nights or few may use pipes to siphon the water from canal to their fields in the night through their DG sets, therefore, we also foresee this kind of Solar PV project can bring down the costs of Canal Maintenance. If the PV Plant Security (which is a cost to Govt too) is insufficient as it runs in to Kilo meters, then, breach or such mishaps may recur and it may prove additional expense to the Government.

    In our view, any new initiative is a most welcome point, but, the sustainability needs a transparency and the people of Gujarat need to be informed in PUBLIC thorough the web site or such seminars about the pros and cons, so that other states, if they copy such project development, shall be aware of Maintenance and sustainability issues too.

    Our objective is to create sustainable business plan for the benefit of more stake holders of Nation. Hence this mail for thanking for new initiatives and to know your views on the same.

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