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West Bengal to get South Asia’s Biggest Floating Solar power plant

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South Asia’s biggest floating solar power plant to be set up at West Bengal, Kolkata. The 500MW plant is going to draw an investment of Rs. 2,500 crore. Sources in power division pinpointed that Kangsabati River at Mukutmanipur could be the location for the undertaking. If everything went as planned, then it might become the nation’s first floating solar power plant. The Centre has also planned to set up two such plants in Maharashtra and Kerala as well.

The KfW, formerly KfW Bankengruppe (banking group), is a German state-owned development bank, situated in Frankfurt, is very fervent for funding the project in Bengal. Incidentally, delegates of KfW were also present while West Bengal’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee was on her visit to German in 2018.

Prior to this, the biggest solar power project proposed in Bengal was the 200MW solar park at Dadanpatra in East Midnapore. The project is anticipating endorsement of the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE).

KfW, a source stated, may also be financing a 200MW ground mounting solar power power plant in the state that might pull in an additional investment of Rs 1,000 crore. Director of KfW, Christoph Kessler, revealed to TOI that the task was huge. He said, “If you consider 500MW capacity, then it is quite big.”

Recently, Kessler had visited the city for attending the annual meeting of members (eastern district) of Indo German Chamber of Commerce. As indicated by him, KfW had a couple of rounds of exchange with West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company (WBSEDCL) related to such matter. “Now, we are scouting for the location,” he added.

Incidentally, MNRE has recently declared collaboration with KfW for execution of solar power projects extends over water bodies.

The MNRE made a survey to evaluate the capability of coasting solar power plants in India. In a joint collaboration with Germany-based development bank KfW, the Centre has plans to set up two floating solar power plants in Maharashtra and Kerala. Both the plants are probably going to cost about US$46.15 million (Rs 280 crore-Rs 300 crore). But as per the sources the limit of these plants would be under 500MW.

A MNRE senior authority said that 40MW of solar limit would be first set up. Bigger limit floating solar plants are required to be fabricated once technical viability of the floating solar technology is surveyed from the underlying undertakings. As indicated by the preliminary study by Kolkata-based Renewable Energy College, India can possibly create 310GW solar power from floating solar power plants. There are 61.5 lakh hectares of still water surfaces in India which can be utilized to introduce floating solar panels.

The KfW director specified that Bengal could well be its next destination after Odisha in eastern region.

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