Hyderabad: A 1,000-MW solar power project proposed to be built in the state two years ago has been stalled for want of land. The National Thermal Power Corporation had decided to set up the unit in the state on the Centre’s directions.
Energy department officials identified land in Gattu in Mahbubnagar district — it takes five acres and Rs1 crore to set up a 1-MW solar unit. The 1,000-MW solar power project required 5,000 acres and cost Rs 4,000 crore investment.
NTPC officials who visited the site along with state energy officials were worried about having to pay more compensation.
State officials then searched in Nizamabad and Adilabad districts but could not find a big enough parcel of land at one place. The matter has stuck there for two years.
Asked about the status of the project, Mr G. Raghuma Reddy, chairman and managing director, TS Southern Power Distribution Company, said 5,000 acres of land had been identified Mahbubnagar district, but it was assigned land.”
Sources said the Centre did not want the assigned land.
An official said they had found a 1,000-acre site in Indravelli mandal of Adilabad district, but the land was big enough only for a 200-MW solar power plant.
Gujarat model will not work, says state
The Gujarat model of building solar power plants on canals is frequently cited as a good example.
One of the most famous is the solar power unit built on the Sanand branch canal of the Sardar Sarovar Project.
Building the space-hungry solar projects on canals can save vast tracts of land. Besides, it also cuts down on evaporation of water as the units cover the canals.
Energy department officials acknowledged that solar power units set up on canals produce 15 per cent more power than those set up on land.
Energy department officials said that it was not possible to set up a 1,000-MW capacity solar power project on canals.
An official said the Gujarat solar canal project’s capacity was 1 MW. Besides, the cost of setting up solar units is double that of a land-based project.
Setting up a 1,000-MW solar power project on on hundreds of kilometres of canals was not possible, the official told this newspaper.