Four of Maharashtra’s Dams to Soon Get Floating Solar Projects

Government plans to invest ₹4.45 million/MW


The state of Maharashtra will soon have four floating solar power projects at four of its dams. The announcement was made by the Maharashtra Water Resources Minister, Girish Mahajan, during the Legislative Council meeting held recently.

According to news agency PTI, Mahajan has said that the backwaters of Wardha, Bebala, Khadakpurna, and Pentakli dams have been selected for setting up the floating solar panels as per the Swiss Challenge method, under which the government publishes the first detailed proposal regarding a project and asks others to add to the initial proposal. Then, the final counterproposal is presented to the first bidder, who is asked to accept it. If the first bidder doesn’t accept it, the chosen counterproposal wins.

Recently, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) had also received a proposal from the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for endorsing it to its member countries for the development of solar projects under the ISA’s Swiss Challenge method.

Mahajan said that the estimated investment per megawatt is slated to be ₹4.45 million (~$6.42 million) with a total installed capacity of 500 MW.

A committee headed by the executive director of the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) is currently scrutinizing the detailed project report and drafting the tenders, the minister added in his reply to the state legislative assembly.

Floating solar PV tenders are on the rise not only in India, but in other countries like Dubai which issued a request for proposal (RfP) for appointing consultants to study, develop, and construct floating solar photovoltaic projects in the Arabian Gulf. The Sri Lankan government also recently approved a project for constructing 100 MW of floating solar power projects in Maduru Oya reservoir in Mahaweli Economic Zone.

In India, floating solar has gained attention mainly due to the availability of a large number of dams, lakes, and reservoirs where such projects can be easily installed given the increasing difficulty in acquiring land for the development of large-scale projects.

Earlier, Mercom reported that the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) issued a request for selection for the purchase of power from 1,000 MW of grid-connected floating solar PV power projects on Ujjani dam in Solapur district. Before floating this tender, the government of Maharashtra had set up a committee to examine the issues related to the development of a floating solar power project at the Ujani dam.

Image credit: Raniero francesetti [CC BY-SA 4.0]