Indian State Gujarat is set to potentially use the existing 19,000 km-long network of Narmada canals across the State for setting up solar panels to generate power.
The pilot project will generate 16 million units of clean energy per annum and also prevent evaporation of 9 million liters of water annually from the canal, an official told Business Line here on Monday. The concept will, therefore, tackle two of the challenges simultaneously by providing energy and water security.
The cost of per megawatt of solar power, in this case, is likely to be much less than the estimated Rs 100 Million, as the two banks of the canal will be used to cover the canal by installing solar power panel and the government will not have to spend much on creating basic infrastructure, including land acquisition .
Today, Gujarat has about 458 km of open Main Canal, while the total canal length, including sub-branches, is about 19,000 km at present. When completed, the SSNNL's canal network will be about 85,000 km long.
Assuming a utilisation of only 10 per cent of the existing canal network of 19,000 km, it is estimated that 2,200 MW of solar power generating capacity can be installed by covering the canals with solar panels. This also implies that 11,000 acres of land can be potentially conserved along with about 20 billion litres of water saved per annum.