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June 25, 2014

WB Govt plans world`s biggest solar power project in Purulia

WB Govt plans world`s biggest solar power project in Purulia

The West Bengal government has placed aproposal to the Centre for setting up a 250MW solar power project near thePurulia Pumping Storage Project (PPSP) at Baghmundi for an estimated cost of Rs1,700 crore.

This will be the world`s biggest solar powerproject if the state gets the nod from the Ministry of New and RenewableEnergy, Government of India.

The state Power minister Manish Gupta spokeabout the plan at a national seminar organized by Ashden India Renewable EnergyCollective – a group of Indian Ashden award winners headed by solar power expertand former adviser to the state power department, S P Gon Chaudhuri. Mr. Guptasaid discussions have taken place with central government officials on theproposed project. The Centre has agreed in principle, he said.

Around 700 acres will be required for theproject. The project will be either at PPSP at Baghmundi or at Thurga that islocated nearby. A detailed project report is being prepared, the Power Ministersaid.

The PPSP of West Bengal State ElectricityDistribution Company Limited has four units of 224MW hydel power each. TheMinister said the proposal will have to be approved by the state financedepartment and in the state cabinet. The state wants grants under the nationalclean energy funds to execute the project.

The PPSP site has been proposed by thestate government as it is a natural source of water. The plan is to pump thewater through solar power. Once this happens, it will become a complete naturalwater pumping system using water and solar power.

It was also announced at the seminar thatAshden India will prepare a rooftop solar power policy for Kolkata. Funds worthRs 22 lakh have been sanctioned through DFID for preparing the policy. “Weare working on some mega schemes for rooftop solar schemes in the city,”said the Minister. Together with the UK government, the West Bengal departmentof power and Kolkata Municipal Corporation are working on developing agrid-connected rooftop solar system.

In Rajarhat New Town, which that has beendeclared as a solar city, the New Town Development Authority has already madeit mandatory for all commercial and residential high-rise buildings to installrooftop solar panels to meet at least 2% of the buildings` electrical loadrequirement.