World's first canal-top Solar Power project in Gujrat

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The 'world's first' canal-top 1 MW solar project on 750-metre stretch of the Sanand branch canal of the Sardar Sarovar Project (Narmada branch canal network) in Gujarat was commissioned (inaugurated in April 2012) within 1,000 days of conception. Located at Chandrasan village near Mehsana, 45 kms from Ahmedabad, it will generate 1.6 million units of electricity per year and is being set up by the US-based Sun Edison (developed by the Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited GSECL).

Advantages :  (Based on the claims of government)

  • The panels are built over the canal to ensure that around 9 million litres of water does not evaporate.
  • According to the government the entire length of SSNL canal network in Gujarat is around 19,000 km and even if 10 per cent of it is used for this type of projects it could generate 2,400 MW of clean energy annually.
  • The project will eliminate the need of 11,000 acres of land required for a solar project of this magnitude and save 2 billion litres of water annually.
  • Gujrat's Solar power initiatives would help save Rs 6,500 crore over the next 25 years, besides reducing carbon emissions to the tune of 8 lakh tonnes.
  • The solar panels produced 15 per cent extra power as compared to land installations as the water flowing under the panels keeps them relatively cool.
  • It has the potential to bring down per unit cost of clean energy from solar panels to between Rs 8 to Rs 8.50 in future.

Gujarat which accounts for 66% of India's total solar power ( out of 979 MW of solar power capacity set up in India ,  654.8 MW is in Gujarat, 197.5 MW in Rajasthan and 20 MW in Maharashtra ), also boasts of another solar park in Charanka village in Patan  (currently Asia's largest), where over 2,965 acres, rows of photovoltaic cells or solar panels have been laid out to harness the sun. They generate 214 MW of electricity every day-more than China's 200 MW Golmund Solar park.

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