Chandrasan: The world's first 1 MW canal-top solar power plant in Gujarat's Mehsana district has generated 2 lakh units of clean energy since it was commissioned two months back, a top official said on Monday on the eve of formal inauguration of the ambitious project.
The project, which virtually eliminates the need to acquire huge tracts of land as is typically needed in setting up such plants, was commissioned in late February 2012.
The project covers 750 metres of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNL) branch canal passing through remote village of Chandrasan, with a network of solar panels, said a top official of the Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSECL).
The plant was set up at the cost of around Rs 17.50 crore by the US-based Sun Edison and is projected to generate 1.6 million units annually and simultaneously prevent evaporation of 9 million litres of water.
"This is the first-of-its-kind canal-top solar power plant to be set up by Sun Edison in the world using panels made by our parent firm MEMC Electronics Materials Ltd," said Head of Communications at Sun Edison Jaideep Singh Chowdhary.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the plant situated at Chandrasan village on Tuesday.
The plant which is connected to the state grid through Uttar Gujarat Vidyut Corporation Limited, had gone on stream in late February.
"The trial run of the plant indicates that solar panels here could produce 15 per cent more power as compared to conventional installations as the water flowing under the panels keeps them relatively cool," said GSECL MD Gurdeep Singh.
The cost of the plant is expected to come down to Rs 12 crore or so as it was higher since it being the first such pilot project, he said.