Mumbai: The energy department has decided to study the environmental impact of the proposed 1,000 MW solar power plant at the reservoir in Ujani Dam in Solapur district. The government has formed a six-member panel to assess the situation and asked it to submit a report within two months.
The State has planned its first ever floating solar power plant of 1,000 MW at Ujani Dam reservoir. This project is a part of its renewable energy policy announced on July 20, 2015. Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MAHADISCOM) has been appointed as the implementing agency for the project. Kerala is the first state to have a floating solar power plant with a capacity of 250 MW. The power department of the state had invited interest bids from various power generation firms, where they received about 20 expressions of interest bids for the first floating solar power plant.
The official from the energy department said that interested companies have now raised several doubts and questions about the project regarding environmental issues. “However, MAHADISCOM is the implementing agency for this project but it does not have the expertise to deal with the project and its environmental issues,” said the official.
There are questions whether the solar panels being installed over the water surface in the reservoir, can affect the flora and fauna in the reservoir. “These solar panels will cover 1/15th of the total reservoir area, but we have to study the actual impact,” said the officer.
A six-member committee headed by Director (Commercial) of MAHADISCOM Satish Chavan has been formed to study the issues related to the doubts raised by the companies. The committee will have members from environment and irrigation departments.
The committee will study the environmental impact due to the project and will prepare a graph of possible changes in the water level. “After submission of the report, the government will invite tenders for actual work by this August end,” said the officer.