Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday dedicated the World’s First Canal-Top 1 MW solar project on Narmada branch canal network, to the national grid at Chandrasan in Mehsana district.
If even 10 per cent of the 19,000 km-long Narmada canal network in Gujarat is used for setting up canal-top solar panels, it has the potential to produce 2,200 MW of solar power, save 11,000 acres of land that would otherwise be used and prevent 2,000 crore of precious water from evaporation annually, the Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, said.
The 1 MW plant, set up over a 750 meter-long stretch of the canal, commissioned in February, will generate 16 lakh units of clean electricity and prevent evaporation of 90 lakh litres of water from the canal annually.
This pilot project has been developed on a 750-metre stretch of the canal by Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSECL) with support from Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL), which owns and maintains the canal network.
The solar panels over the canal have a generating capacity of 1 MW of solar power. According to official sources, this solar power plant has generated close to 2 lakh units of electricity since its inception. It is expected to generate around 1.60 million units, i.e. 16 lakh units, of electricity yearly. The power generated will be supplied to villages alongside the canal, which will lead to lower transmission losses
The length of the Narmada Main Canal, constructed under the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP), is 458 km. The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) has so far constructed about 19,000 km long canal network, out of the 75,000 km planned for the entire project.
Tata power Company Ltd(TPCL) recently conducted feasibility studies on canal based solar power project in Maharashtra by taking technical support from one of the leading technology provider from Australia.