In a bid to promote solar power generation in a big way, the Odisha government has decided to finalise a comprehensive solar policy in two months.
The department of science & technology, which is finalizing the policy, has targeted solar power production of 80 Mw in three years.
“We had discussions with the chief secretary regarding the solar power policy. The policy is set to be finalised within two months. We are also going to come out with Vision 2020 for the renewable energy sector by that time. In the next one year, solar power production in the state is expected to reach 50 MW and we hope to scale it up to 80 MW in the next three years,” said D N Gupta, secretary (science & technology).
State owned Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) will work as the single window clearance agency for solar power projects.
“The solar policy will have many enabling provisions for promoting solar power production by private investors. The policy’s thrust will be on solar photo-voltaic cell for electricity generation, solar heating systems and solar water pump systems. Some private investors have already installed solar plants in the state and many others are keen to put up their projects,” said Gupta. Renewable energy potential in Odisha has been assessed at 11,820 MW, with solar energy having the highest potential at 10,000 MW among all green energy sources.
The potential for solar photo-voltaic source is the highest at 8,000 MW followed by solar thermal and wind power at 2,000 MW and 910 MW respectively. Potential for bio-mass paddy husk and bio-mass paddy straw has been assessed at 250 Mw each.
Investments to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore are expected to flow to Odisha in the renewable energy sector during the 12th Plan Period (2012-17) as the state has targeted capacity augmentation of 350 MW from solar, wind and bio-mass sources in this period.
As against the renewable energy potential, three small hydro power projects with 57 MW capacity, nine solar photo voltaic (PV) project with 13 MW capacity and one biomass power project of 20 MW have been commissioned in the state.
In addition to this, bulk power purchaser Gridco has signed power purchase agreements with eight developers of biomass projects with a combined capacity of 98 MW and six small hydro-electric projects with a capacity totaling to 67 MW.