With power generation from renewable energy sources increasingly getting high priority in policies of both the Union and State Government, Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) Limited has proposed to set up canal top solar power plants on experimental basis.
All chief engineers of irrigation projects have been asked to provide lists of suitable canals on which solar panels could be installed over water surfaces.
The water resource department is now looking at Rengali irrigation project, Subarnarekha Irrigation Project and Puri Canal to identify suitable space. To get maximum solar radiation, canals having east-west alignment will be preferred. The power to be generated from solar power projects would be distributed through the grid.
According to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), almost all districts of Odisha receive an average solar radiation of 5.5 kWh/ square kilometer area, with around 300 sunny days every year. Odisha has potential to generate 8,000 MW of solar power through solar photovoltaic route.
As far as development of solar power in Odisha is concerned, it is proposed to develop solar parks with 1,000 MW capacity inside Odisha through an independent power producer model.