Bihar’s power company launches ground work to set up solar power plants

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Patna: Years of planning of the Bihar Government to reduce the state’s dependence on fossil fuel and harness renewal sources for electricity needs has now begun taking shapes on the ground.

In line of the State Cabinet’s decision in 2017, the Bihar State Power Generation Company (BSPGC) has started demarcating land for at Kajra (in Lakhisarai district) and Pirpainti (in Bhagalpur) to set up solar based power plants.

BSPGC officials visited the spots along with those of the district administration and Infrastructure Development Authority, Bihar, and surveyed the earmarked areas at both the places for barricading. The exercise may take a few months’ time before actual ground work to set up the power plants could begin.

Also Read: Bihar lags behind target to harness alternative power 

The BSPGC, which had no work for years after the State Government transferred Kanti and Barauni-based thermal power stations to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for operation and maintenance, is set to appoint consultants to prepare the detailed project reports (DPRs) for commissioning of 250MW plant at Kajra and 200MW plant Pirpainti.

A senior officer of BSPGC told Khabar Infra they required acquiring around 1200 acre land at Kajra and 1085 acre land at Pirpainti as the initial exercise. “Tenders have already been floated to rope in reputed consultants for the project,” he said, adding that the State Cabinet had already approved ₹1,531crore for setting up solar plants.

The state government had acquired land at both the places to set up coal fired power plants by the NTPC and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and signed up the agreements in 2014 to set up around 600MW plants. However, the plan did not move forward much.

At the East India Climate Change Conclave held at Patna in 2018, the then Deputy Chief Minister and now BJP Rajya Sabha member Sushil Kumar Modi had declared that the state was determined to produce 2000MW power from solar energy by 2022-end. However, nothing much could be done to achieve the target.

Bihar is lagging far behind in generation of power through renewal sources of energy. The state government agency set up to encourage production and popularise use of alternative energy, Bihar Renewal Energy Development Agency (Breda), managed to produce barely 19.29 megawatt (MW) power from solar energy in the last five years against the target of 3090MW.

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