The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has given its nod to set up a hybrid power project on the Middle Vaitarna Dam. It has become the first civic body in the country to develop such a project. The Middle Vaitarna Dam supplies water to Mumbai’s metropolitan region.
Speaking to Mercom, an official from MCGM said, “The MCGM has approved a proposal to form a joint venture between Shapoorji Pallonji & Company and Mahalaxmi Konal Urja. The hydroelectric project will have a capacity of 20 MW, and the floating solar project a capacity of 80 MW. The project will generate 208 MUs of electricity and help MCGM save ₹240 million (~$3.28 million) in power bills. The civic body will buy power at the rate of ₹4.75 (~$0.065)/kWh for 25 years from these companies.”
In November last year, MCGM had floated a tender to develop 100 MW of floating solar-hydropower hybrid power project at the state’s Vaitarna dam. The targeted electricity generation per year was 67.98 MUs from the hydro project and 140.58 MUs from the floating solar project.
The addition of floating solar projects on the top of water bodies, which already have hydropower stations, can annually generate around 7.6 TW of clean energy from the solar photovoltaic systems alone, according to a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Floating solar has gained traction in India mainly due to the availability of a large number of dams, lakes, and reservoirs where such projects can be easily installed, given the increasing difficulty in acquiring land for the development of large-scale projects.