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Floating solar panel to come up at Rajarghat of Kolkata by November

Times of India, Delhi, 11th August 2014


The country's first floating solar power panel will come up on a waterbody beside the Eco Park at Rajarhat New Town by November. Solar power expert and former advisor to the state power department SP Gon Chaudhuri said that a 15KW solar power generating panel would be set up on a waterbody located beside Eco Park in New Town. The project will be implemented under central funding by the Arka Ignou College of Renewable Energy, which is headed by him. "It will be the country's first floating solar panel to be executed under central government funding of Rs 40 lakh," he said. The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA), early next year, will also set up a canal-top solar power panel on a link-up canal flowing near Eco Park that will generate 500KW solar power every day. The canal-top solar panel will be the state's first, followed by only a few other states like Gujarat. The NKDA has started work of setting up a 500KW canal-top solar power project at an estimated cost of more than Rs 1 crore.


An agency has been selected through an e-tender process and approved by a committee headed by the director of West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA) for the purpose. The canal-top solar project, which is a part of the Union ministry of new and renewable energy's Solar City programme, was prepared by the solar cell of the Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (formerly known as BESU), Shibpur. "It is a flagship canal-top solar project," said NKDA chairman Debashis Sen, adding that the project would be fully funded by the development authority. Another NKDA official said that the project consisted of using sloped steel structure laid across a link canal flowing beside the Eco Park.


The panel will generate 500KW power, which will be able to light up the entire Eco Park spreading over 480 acres. The NKDA will lay the most efficient solar panels for the flagship project, which is also a part projects aimed at developing the township as a solar city as declared by the Centre. The NKDA will use a net metering system in which the power that will be generated and put to the grid every day will be measured. "The advantage of laying the solar panels on top of canals is that not only there will be no requirement for land for the solar power plant, but the canal will also be saved from accumulation of external wastes," said another NKDA official. SP Gon Chaudhuri had first came up with the idea of laying floating solar panels on the waterbodies of the city. "Similar research on how solar panels could be floated on wetlands is going on in Australia," said Gon Chaudhuri.