Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), a state-owned hydel and thermal power generator, has proposed 1.7GW of floating solar projects along four of its dams in West Bengal and Jharkhand. The dams that have been identified are Maithon, Tilaya, Konar and Panchet. The project development will be carried out in three phases of which the first will be of 50MW. The feasibility study of the solar projects has been carried out by the Solar Energy Corporation of India. The projects are likely to utilise about 15 per cent of their capacities. A tender has already been floated for this first phase and is set to be developed in Panchet, Jharkhand. Further, DVC has also found the lowest bidder for the project and are set to finalise work by October 2020.
These projects are expected to boost Jharkhand’s renewable capacity, which is limited to only 19MW of large-scale solar projects in operation. The state has also not been able to maintain its renewable purchase obligations targets since the financial year 2010-11 up to 2017-18. Floating solar projects have slowly been gaining traction in the country. The current announcement for 1.7GW floating solar across comes after the West Bengal cabinet approved a 5MW grid-connected solar project at Sagardighi Thermal Power Projects. Other floating solar projects include a 3MW project at the Meghadrigedda Reservoir and a 2MW project at Mudarsarlova reservoir, both in Vishakhapatnam.