Mumbai's Vaitarna Dam to host 100 MW floating solar-hydro project: report
15 February 2021
The Middle Vaitarna Dam that supplies water to Mumbai metropolitan region will have a floating solar-hydro hybrid power project with a combined generating capacity of 100 kWh, if a says a Mercom report.
The report said the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has already given its nod for setting up the hybrid power project on the Middle Vaitarna Dam and has agreed to buy power from the project at Rs4.75 per kWh.
A joint venture between construction major Shapoorji Pallonji & Company and Mahalaxmi Konal Urja, will be implementing the project, says the report. Once the project is implemented, Mumbai will become the first civic body in the country to develop such a power project.
“MCGM has approved a proposal to form a joint venture between Shapoorji Pallonji & Company and Mahalaxmi Konal Urja. The hydroelectric project will have a capacity of 20 MW, and the floating solar project a capacity of 80 MW. The project will generate 208 MUs of electricity and help MCGM save Rs24 crore (~$3.28 million) in power bills. The civic body will buy power at the rate of Rs4.75 (~$0.065)/kWh for 25 years from these companies,” Mercom quoted an MCGB official as saying.
MCGM had, in November last year, floated a tender for developing a 100 MW floating solar-hydropower hybrid power project at the Vaitarna Dam, which supplies water to Mumbai metropolitan region. Of the 100 MW power proposed to be generated, 20 MW was to come from the hydro power project and the remaining 80 MW from solar installations.
The targeted electricity generation per year was 67.98 MUs from the hydro project and 140.58 MUs from the floating solar project.
The addition of floating solar projects on the top of water bodies, which already have hydropower stations, can annually generate around 7.6 TW of clean energy from the solar photovoltaic systems alone, according to a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
The report further stated that Maharashtra government is planning to develop four floating solar power projects at four dams - the backwaters of Wardha, Bebala, Khadakpurna, and Pentakli dams.
Selection of the project implementation agency is done on the Swiss Challenge method, under which the government publishes the first detailed project proposal and asks others to add to the initial proposal. The final counterproposal is then presented to the first bidder, who is asked to accept it. If the first bidder doesn’t accept it, the chosen counterproposal wins.
Given the difficulties involved in acquiring land for the development of large-scale power projects, floating solar project is an ideal solution for India considering the availability of a large number of dams, lakes, and reservoirs.