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Karnataka looks at power generation from solar panels atop Alamatti canal

According to reports, as part of its diversification programme, the Department of Water Resources has embarked upon a pilot project to generate 1 MW of power by installing solar panels atop the Alamatti Right Bank Canal (ARBC) in Bagalkot district. SunEdison Energy India Private Ltd., Chennai, has been awarded the Rs. 10.45-crore innovative project, according to Principal Secretary of the department Kapil Mohan, who is also Managing Director of Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Ltd. (KBJNL). The company has also been entrusted with the work of design, engineering, supply, and testing the system.

He said the KBJNL was installing around 3,300 solar panels on a stretch of nearly 1 km of the ARBC, between the 8th and 11th km. The construction work would be completed by August this year. The KBJNL would ensure development of power evacuation substation and transmission infrastructure till the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. (Rampur sub station) completes its grid inter-connection work.

The project also envisages preventing evaporation of water in the canal by installing the solar panels atop the canal. The project includes the cost of operation and maintenance for a period of five years, unlike in a similar project implemented atop the Narmada branch canal in Gujarat. The cost of that project was in the range of Rs. 16 crore to Rs. 17 crore.

To a question on whether the pilot project would be extended to cover 65 km of the ARBC and 85 km of the Alamatti Left Bank Canal, the official said that would depend on the topography of the canal as well as viability and funding.

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