KURNOOL: With vast land parcels, water resources, including Srisailam project, and commercial quality wind harnessable into power, Kurnool district has all the potential to become a hub for green energy projects. Already, a 1,000 MW solar energy park has become operational. In addition, the district has potential to generate another 4,000 MW solar energy, says Nedcap (Non-conventional Energy Development Corporation) district manager A. Veugopala Reddy.
Panyam, Owk and Kolimigundla areas are ideally suited for renewable energy. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has come forward to set up a 4,000 MW solar plant in Kolimigundla mandal of Kurnool district. “We have already identified 10,500 acres of land. But the state government has not yet taken a decision on it,” Reddy said.
Even Owk has potential to generate 2,000 MW of solar and hydro power. Burugula Power, a Mumbai-based company, is showing interest to put up a power plant at Owk, but it is yet to be finalised. Owk can generate 1,200 MW solar and 300–450 MW of hydro power, authorities say.
A welcome feature is state government approving an integrated renewable energy project at Pinnapuram village in Kurnool district being developed by Greenko Energies Private Limited. The company proposes to set up 1,000 MW of solar, 550 MW of wind, and 1,200 MW of standalone pumped storage power.
Despite huge power potential, Kurnool is suffering, as entrepreneurs are unwilling to set up their units fearing factionalism in the district. Some, who have come forward, have dropped their plans as the political atmosphere is not conducive, a prominent industrialist maintains. This is notable particularly in Panyam and Banaganapalle areas. “Leaders from top to bottom squeeze entrepreneurs. Many industries have thus died even before taking birth,” he observed.
Meanwhile, detailed project reports (DPRs) are being prepared for seven out of 29 locations identified for setting up of pumped storage hydro projects. Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE) Limited, Australia-based SMEC Holdings Limited, PSE Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS), and another firm have been given a three-year contract for coming up with DPRs at Owk Reservoir in Kurnool district, Chitravathi in Anantapur, Somasila in Nellore, Gandikota in Kadapa district, Kurukutti and Karrivalasa in Vizianagaram district, and Yerravaram in Visakhapatnam district, officials said.