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Gujarat to go in for tidal wave power

According to reports, more than two years after Gujarat government dropped the idea of producing  tidal wave power in the  Gulf of Khambhat because it was “too costly”, the state energy department has revived it. While officials suggested before going ahead with it the government would “look into technical issues”, a government resolution (GR) has been issued claiming it is “possible to produce tidal wave power at two spots – in the Gulf of Kutch near Mandva, and in the Gulf of Khambhat near Hazira.”
GR, significantly, says that at the two spots, respectively, 200 MW and 300 MW of “tidal wavepower can be produced”. The decision to drop tidal wave power project was taken in early 2009 after the state government decided to slash down the cost of the Kalpasar project, proposed as a sweet water lake by damming the Gulf of Khambhat. While reviving the project, the GR said, Rs 25 crore have been set aside and handed over to the Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd to begin with the project.
The GR said, “In village Maska in Taluka Mandvi, Kutch district, 16 hectares (ha) area has been acquired to kick-start the tidal wave project. The National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, has been asked to carry out marine environment impact assessment for tidal wave power.” Meanwhile, Rs 25 crore have been set aside for soil investigation, topographical survey and geotechnical survey of the sea. Also, studies are being carried out on the type of turbines needed for tidal wave project.
“The Gujarat government is has already entered into a preliminary agreement with US firm Atlantis for starting a 50 MW tidal wave power project at either of the two spots, but preferably in the Gulf of Kutch”, a senior official said, adding, “While the state fisheries department and  Gujarat Maritime Board have cleared the project, it is lying for a nod with the environment department for over a year.”
Sources said, details furnished by Atlantis suggest that cost of one MW in putting up tidalwave power project would Rs 17.1 crore, which includes the cost of the turbine, sub-station equipment, power electronics equipment, cabling and installation. This is if Atlantis puts up a 50 MW  tidal project. But in case in case it proposes a 250 MW project, the cost would go down to Rs 14.1 crore.
Tariff of the power to be produced from tidal wave would be Rs 15 per unit, the sources said, which suggests that the Gujarat government would be required to give a massive subsidy for 20 to 25 years in the same as it has done to solar power projects. There is, however, no decision on the matter. “The matter will be looked into in case more firms show in putting up tidal power projects”, the official said.

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