Kerala

Uncertainty over solar power projects

The moves to commission 200-MW solar power projects here by 2019 to supplement the rising power needs of the energy-starved State have suffered a major jolt with uncertainty over the fate of projects planned in three locations in the district.

The delay on the part of authorities to make available land is a major impediment to the implementation of the project.

Solar park at Velluda

A solar energy park with a generation capacity of 50 MW on 484 acres of leased revenue land was set up at Velluda in Ambalathara village near Kanhangad earlier this year.

Similar initiatives

However, similar initiatives planned at Paivalige and nearby Meencha grama panchayats in Manjeswaram and Kanhirapoil in Kinanur-Karindalam panchayat seem to have been shelved with the authorities concerned failing to hand over land.

Renewable Power Corporation of Kerala Ltd. (RPCKL), a joint venture of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), was proposed to have been handed over 1,086 acres in the district to generate 200 MW solar power, as part of an initiative to generate 20,000 MW by 2019 in backward areas across the nation by utilising vast stretches of barren land.

Political opposition

The solar power project planned in 250 acres at Kanhirapoyil in Hosdurg taluk, however, met with stiff resistance from a section of political leaders who wanted the State to utilise the land for setting up a higher education institution.

The proposed 50-MW solar project at Paivalige, for which the SECI had already floated work tender, and the 30-MW power project at nearby Meencha grama panchayat also face uncertainty as the authorities have not yet made available the leased land. The delays have affected the district’s aspiration to become a mega solar energy generating region.

The commissioning of the projects would have helped in stabilising the voltage fluctuation faced by the region besides meeting the increased power requirements of the State, a senior official here said.

Land needed

The solar parks at Paivalige and Meencha proposed on 427 acres were believed to have been shelved as large areas of land would have to be used to generate a cumulative power of 80 MW, sources close to Manjeswaram MLA P.B. Abdul Razak said.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 9:38:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/uncertainty-over-solar-power-projects/article20629141.ece

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