BENGALURU: Farmers in drought-prone Chitradurga are preparing to tap solar energy in a big way to satiate the energy needs of the state with a 5,000 MW mega solar energy park that would be the biggest in the state when completed.
The project envisaged by a private agency, Renewable Energy Development Trust(RED-T), with participation of farmers as partners needs 40,000 acres spread over 16 villages, which include Siddavanahalli, Sondekere, Chikkamadure, Hirimadure, Mallappanahalli and Sanikere.
With land acquisition for such mega projects posing the biggest hurdle all over the country, farmers under the proposed project need not sell their lands and can continue to cultivate the lands as RED-T would take the lands on a monthly rent of `1,800 per acre. “The solar panels will be installed 10 feet above the ground level that would allow the farmers to continue their cultivation below the panels,” said H R Kulakarni, convener of RED-T.
About eight acres of land would be needed for generation of 1MW of solar power and already agreements have been inked for 6,000 acres of land involving about 400 farmers.
As for cost of the project, it has been estimated at `45,000 crore at `9 crore per MW. Many industries and commercial firms have expressed keen interest to invest, Kulakarni claimed.