Currently, India has a pipeline of about 1.7 GW for floating solar projects, with Ministry recognizing the technology as a priority area and playing its part through aggressive rolling out of tenders. The effect has also trickled down at regional level with states carrying out potential studies for Floating Solar Photo Voltaic (FSPV) project development at not just pilot level but at a utility scale.
The state of Odisha, with an overall potential of generating 17.75 GW of electricity from FSPV, is proactively conducting feasibility studies across its water surface area for project development at utility scale. Under the Clean Energy Cooperation with India (CECI) project, feasibility studies on 12 water bodies were carried out in the state, namely, hydro reservoirs of Balimela, Upper Kolab, Indravati, Hirakud and Rengali and water irrigation reservoirs of Telengiri, Hariharjore, Mandira, Jambhira, Salandi, Sorada Ghai and Bhajanagar. The study was carried out based on strong desktop assessment with GIS analysis, site visits to the water bodies, environmental, social analysis and sample social consultation workshops. The final study report was submitted to GEDCOL in Dec 2019 and accepted after detailed deliberation with Department of energy and state government level.
In alignment with the above feasibility study conducted in the state, a need was highlighted by the Odisha state government to develop two FSPV Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for the sites of Hirakud and Indravati. The main purpose of the DPR was to focus on the techno-commercial assessment of utility scale FSPV projects, with easy future replication of the project across other water bodies in the state and subsequently highlight the key innovations which can be implemented.
The overall objective of this study on the "Preparation of DPR’s for solar floating project in Odisha” was to ensure that the best practices, key success factors, including latest European knowledge and research & technology on what is needed for development of an optimized FSPV project, based on relevant experiences of EU member countries is translated into formulation of project DPRs. The activity addressed specific barriers (regulatory, technical) to uptake, upscaling and replication of floating solar PV as one of the five pilots regarding European technical solutions implemented in the Indian context required under the CECP project. In addition, the activity was also reinforced with the dissemination of the learnings through a workshop on floating solar PV.