The historic site of Shivanasamudra, which has Asia’s first hydroelectric station, is set to become a hub of solar power as Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. (KPCL) is in the process of commissioning a 10 MW grid-connected solar power plant there.
The new plant, which is in the final stages of completion, is expected to be commissioned by mid-May.
The highlight is that this solar plant is said to be the cheapest in the State as it is being set up at a cost of just about Rs. 7 crore a MW, as against the previous solar project’s cost that varied from Rs. 12.3 crore to Rs. 19 crore a MW.
As of now, the 10 MW plant is the State’s biggest grid-connected solar power plant. The work on setting up the plant had begun in December 2014. It is coming up on a 50-acre land, which was already in possession of the KPCL.
This is the fifth grid-connected solar plant of the KPCL. While three solar plants with a capacity of 3 MW each have been set up at Yelesandra of Kolar district, Belgaum, and Raichur, another one with a capacity of 5 MW has already been working at Shivanasamudra.
The 3 MW plant of Yelesandra had caught everyone’s attention as it was the highest in terms of capacity in the entire country at the time of setting up. The then Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah had dedicated the Yelesandra Plant to the country, signifying the importance of tapping solar energy. But, it is ironical that Karnataka lost the zeal in between as it is now not even among the first three States in terms of total capacity of solar power generation.