Bihar Govt eyes waterbodies to push for clean energy production

After commissioning first floating power unit at Darbhanga, Bihar power general company has planned setting up a similar 10MW plant at Phulwaria dam in Rajauli of Nawada

Bihar Clean Energy

Patna: Emboldened by the initial success of the first floating solar power plant in the state at Darbhanga, the Bihar state power generation company limited (BSPGCL) has proposed to set up another similar plant with larger capacity at Phulwaria dam of Rajauli block in Nawada.

BSPGCL managing director Mahendra Kumar said that the company had sought no objection from the water resources department (WRD) to use the dam site for generating power from floating photovoltaic panels. “We have proposed generation of around 10 mega watt (MW) clean energy from floating solar plant at dam site. Besides, the company has also asked for WRD clearance to set up ground-mounted solar panels near Sone canal system in Bikram area of Patna for generating about 2MW power,” said Kumar, adding that two plants would be developed on Resco model as pilot projects by the Bihar renewable energy development agency (Breda).

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Once completed and operated successfully, the WRD may allow BSPGCL to set up solar plants on other water bodies. “Contrary to our perception of facing locals’ objections, floating solar power unit set up in a pond of Kadirabad locality of Darbhanga, which currently produces 1.56 MW clean energy, has been received well by the residents,” said a Breda officer.

The BSPGCL officials have already carried out initial survey of the dam site, nestled in the naturally blessed foothills of Rajauli, and noticed excitement of local villagers to harness clean energy and help cut down the carbon emission. “Residents of Hardiya and Banekhap villages had greeted the survey team during their visit at the dam and urged them to facilitate an early implementation of the project to save the dam, which is drying up due to climate change impact,” said one of the team members.

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“Currently, we are working on solar power plants to generate about 400MW solar power. Breda has begun installation of solar panels on around 4000 government buildings across the state. Some of the project would be installed by the discom (power distribution companies) under the power purchase agreements with private companies to target private institutions and housing units,” said Kumar, who is also MD of South Bihar power distribution company limited (SBPDCL).

The BSPGCL’s emphasis on generating clean energy is the part of the state’s long-drawn strategy to achieve the net zero goal by 2040. The state government has already roped in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to prepare the action plan for reducing the carbon emission last year.

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The state cabinet has already approved setting up of the project management unit (PMU) to manage and operate solar power installations on government and non-government premises under Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali mission. A sum of ₹29.30 crore has been sanctioned to establish and operate the PMU for the next three years.

Subhash Pathak/ Hindustan Times

(The report has been supported by the Earth Journalism Network)

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