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Solar energy project for 25 villages in each Odisha district


Reported by Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar, July 27:

In order to meet the power demand and promote solar energy in the state, the Odisha government has initiated the process of identifying at least 25 un-electrified or power starved villages in each district for implementation of solar Photo Voltaic (PV) projects on a pilot basis.

solar power plantThe pilot scheme, to be launched by the Union ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) will have solar PV (photo voltaic) based home systems that would be provided to every household in two villages/hamlets in every Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha constituency.

Each household will be provided with a 10-200 watt peak solar PV system enough to provide power to 3-5 LED lights, 1-2 fans, provision of mobile charging and running other small appliances at the discretion of the household. Each system is estimated to cost Rs 50,000. While MNRE will bear 60 per cent of the cost, state governments are being persuaded to provide 30 per cent subsidy. The balance 10 per cent will be contributed by the beneficiary.

Expediting the process, Science and Technology secretary Surendra Kumar has already asked the district collectors to identify the un-electrified villages.

“In this regard, you are requested to identify at least 25 un-electrified or power starved villages and hamlets in your district where there is an urgent need to provide power through solar system,” Kumar said in a letter to the district collectors.

Each village/hamlet may have 100 or more households. In case, where such villages are not available, clusters of villages or hamlets with 100 or more households can also be selected, said the secretary.

The government has formed a company GEDCOL as the nodal agency for on-grid solar energy projects in the state whereas off-grid generation such as solar cooking, pumping, refrigeration, heating and industrial process will be Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA)’s responsibility.

Even though the state has a huge potential for renewable energy sources, the government has failed to utilise it as most proposals remain only on paper.

Currently, the state is generating 8 MW solar energy from small producers and has plans to produce at least 80 MW in next three years. Renewable energy potential in Odisha has been assessed at 11,820 MW, with solar energy having the highest potential at 10000 MW among all green energy sources.