West Bengal to take solar-hydro route for green power project
Bengal is going solar this time to run generators that will pump water to a reservoir uphill in Purulia’s Ayodhya Hills during off peak hours, 10 years after the successful installation of Purulia Pumped Storage Project. The state power department will set up a 1,000MW solar-hydro power project when the existing project is a thermal-hydro mix.
The proposal was cleared in the state cabinet meeting on Monday. The purpose of this multifunction power plant is to pave the way for energy generation without fossil carriers — a first of its kind in the country — when Bengal has a lopsided 96:4 thermal-hydro ratio in power generation.
The objective is to use the afternoon sunlight to run turbines to lift stored water from a reservoir at a lower altitude in Ayodhya Hills to a reservoir on the upper side during off-peak hours that can help meeting the peak demand. Planned to be installed within 81 months from Monday, the second project is being funded by the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JICA).
“This will be the first solar-driven pumped storage project in the country — clean and green. The project has been estimated at Rs 4650.79 crore. The state government will bear 15% of the project cost while the rest will come from JICA,” state power minister Shobhandeb Chattopadhyay said.
The generated energy will be wheeled to the power grid to meet the peak demand.