Five Indian states propose replacing 1GW of conventional power with solar

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Irrigation projects do not require power 24 hours a day so solar is very suitable for them.  Flickr: Sanyam Bagha

Five Indian states have put in proposals to replace a total of 1,067MW of conventional power plants with solar energy for irrigation purposes.

Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh all submitted the requests to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

The MNRE has asked states to submit a letter of interest by 14 October 2016. Capacities proposed were as follows:

State Capacity (MW)
Andhra Pradesh 2
Bihar 0.8
Chhattisgarh 4
Telangana 1,000
Uttar Pradesh 60

Consultancy firm Mercom Capital Group cited MNRE sources that said irrigation projects do not require power 24 hours a day and therefore, while many conventional energy projects are already in operation primarily to supply power for irrigation projects, it is easier to replace such projects with solar.

MNRE sources told Mercom: “Only conventional energy projects that can be shut down without adversely affecting the grid would be considered, and for that reason Bihar for example has proposed only 1MW of capacity to be replaced with solar.”

The Telangana collar replacement is particularly large (1GW) due to a number of irrigation projects announced by the Telangana state government.

The conventional capacity to be replaced in each state will be auctioned by state nodal agencies.

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