THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: IF things pan out, solar power use in the state will be stronger by 71.3 megawatts (MW) this financial year itself.
The Power Department intends to complete a bevy of big and mini projects in 2016-17 which will add to the rising solar power use in the state. Construction is already underway on 20 projects, with the largest being the 50 MW Phase I of the Kasargod Solar Park project, which is a 200-MW joint venture of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). Phase 1 is expected to be ready by December, KSEB officials said.
The remaining 20 KSEB projects have a capacity of 3 MW or below, according to details given by the department in the Assembly this week. They include the three MW Barapole grid-connected canal top project, the 1 MW Barapole canal bank project, and a 0.655 MW project which aims at installing solar panels atop power generation units of the KSEB. Solar power projects will be implemented in tribal colonies also as part of the initiative. A 0.012 MW project will come up at a tribal colony in Palakkad while a 0.0845 MW projects is planned for another 10 colonies in the district.
Again, the KSEB has floated bids for setting up another five solar projects totalling 4.05 MW. This include a 1 MW project at Mayilatti, Kasargod, and a 1.5 MW project at Nenmara, according to the details submitted by Electricity Minister Kadakampally Surendran. The KSEB has so far completed solar power projects to the tune of 1.23 MW.
In addition to this, the Centrally-assisted 10,000 Solar Homes project, which aims at installing 1 KW solar power units on housetops, is nearing completion. Of the total capacity of 10 MW intended, 9 MW has been completed, according to the department. The Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) is implementing centrally assisted project which aims at upping solar power generation by another 15 MW.