Solar power: Pilot project at Meenkara dam

May 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

The pilot project of the Irrigation Department to produce power from the solar panels will be implemented at Meenkara dam in Palakkad district, before going in for a mega production from other dams.

The Cabinet had already given the nod to go ahead with the pilot project as several other departments in the state were already using solar power for their functioning.

When the state is reeling under severe power crisis, the best option is to use conventional solar energy for the production of power.

When developed countries resorted to solar power methodology by installing solar panels in dams and reservoirs, the Kerala Government too came up with a proposal in this regard and submitted it to the Union Government.

Irrigation Minister P J Joseph had submitted a proposal to the Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal recently.

Irrigation Principal Secretary V J Kurian said that power production using solar panels from dams and reservoirs couldn’t be done on a large scale without a study on the conditions of Kerala.

Though it was planned to implement the project in Malampuzha dam, it was later shifted to Meenkara Dam in Palakkad, which will be a pilot project.

It is proposed to install solar panels in this dam to produce 20 MW of power. A proposal in this regard will be prepared by the Kerala Irrigation Infrastructure Development Corporation (KIDCO), which will be submitted to the government for the final nod. After the proposal is prepared, companies which have technical expertise in this field will be invited to give the Expression of Interest (EoI) to implement the project.

As this is a unique technique, those having global expertise will be considered to ensure that the best equipment having world standards is installed. According to Kurian, the large-scale installation of solar panels will be planned only after getting the results from the pilot project. If the pilot project is successful, the first phase will be implemented with the financial assistance of the Cochin International Airport Limited and the Ministry of Non-Renewable Energy.

Floating solar panels will be put up in an area covering six acres in Malampuzha dam which can produce 1 MW of energy.

Later it will be extended to 60 acres which can produce 10 MW of power.

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