AGARTALA, May 15 (PTI): The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Ltd will begin a feasibility study for a 130-MW floating solar power plant on Dumbur Lake in Tripura’s Gomati district, an official said on Monday.
In the past five years, the northeastern state has increased solar power energy from 4.07 MW to 7.21 MW with the government trying hard to increase renewable energy in a big way.
Tripura Renewable Energy Development Agency (TREDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the NTPC to carry out the feasibility study for the floating power plant.
NTPC operates a 100-MW floating solar power project at Ramagundam in Telangana.
Under the study, the NTPC will examine the area of the waterbody required to be taken up for the plant, identification of local transfer stations and forest clearance for setting up the state’s first renewable energy plant, TREDA Joint Director Debabrata Sukladas said.
He said the NTPC is expected to complete the feasibility study which will cost Rs 450 crore in a couple of months.
“The proposed 130-MW floating power plant is important for the state’s aim of producing 200 MW solar energy by 2030. The state’s average solar power energy’s potentiality stands at 2080 MW. The TREDA, Tripura State Electricity Corporation (TSECL) and the Tripura Power Generation Company – all are trying hard to tap the solar power energy potential of the state,” Sukladas said.
TREDA has also initiated a process to provide solar power to the interior tribal habitations where conventional power supply is not profitable.
“The installation of the solar microgrid has been completed in 17 tribal habitations while work is in progress for 50 more habitations with a cost of Rs 5.70 crore”, he said adding that the Centre has approved a Rs 80 crore project in principle which will cover as many as 274 habitations with solar power.
The advantage of a floating solar power plant is the minimum land requirement mostly for associated evacuation arrangements. Besides, with the presence of floating solar panels, the evaporation rate from water bodies is reduced, thus helping in water conservation.
Claiming that the PM-KUSUM scheme has so far been successfully implemented in rural areas of the border state as far as assured irrigation is concerned, the official said a total of 1,659 solar-operated pumps have been set up with a cost of Rs 112 crore.
PM-KUSUM (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan) Scheme is aimed at ensuring energy security for farmers in the country, along with honouring India’s commitment to increase the share of installed capacity of electric power from non-fossil-fuel sources to 40 per cent by 2030.
“The PM KUSUM has increased the productivity of crops as the farmers are getting assured irrigation which was a perennial trouble for them for several years,” he added.