The government of Odisha has decided to form a separate company, Odisha Green Power Corporation Ltd (OGPCL), exclusively for the purpose of promoting large-scale solar power plants and other renewable energy projects.
The decision to form OGPCL was announced by the State’s Energy Minister, Mr Arun Kumar Sahu, at a solar conference organised in Bhubhaneswar by the local chapter of TiE along with Canyon Consultancy Pvt Ltd, a firm that focuses on renewable energy technologies on Saturday. (TiE, or The Indus Entrepreneurs, is a global non profit organization that aims to foster entrepreneurship.)
The new company is expected to be a subsidiary of Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC), which has substantial lands on which to put up solar projects. OHPC intends to put up a 22.5 MW solar project, spread over three of its hydro project locations, through its green power subsidiary. OHPC is also discussing with Water Resource department to have solar projects on the canals of Odisha for multiple benefits.
Speaking at the conference, Mr B K Misra, Member, Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission, called upon the major industries in the State such as NALCO, Hindalco and Vedanta, to put up rooftop solar plants in their industrial units, which could help them meet their ‘renewable purchase obligation’.
TiE Bhubhaneswar has recommended to the State government to declare 2013 as the ‘Solar Year of Odisha’ and also to set up a 100 MW solar park during the year. It has further suggested that the solar plant capacity in the State could be raised to 1,000 MW by 2017.
"Looking at the current scenario of non-availability of coal for Captive Power Plants of various industries, we have developed the concept of putting up solar parks in different locations, each of more than 100MW,” said Mr Chandrashekhar Mishra, Managing Director, Canyon Consultancy.
Odisha has joined a growing list of States that have big solar ambitions. Gujarat is the leader, with about 700 MW of installed capacity (about 70 per cent of all solar power capacity in the country.) Rajasthan had announced a solar programme, but later shelved it. Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh have announced their own policies/programmes. Odisha, which had earlier awarded a 25 MW project to a company called Alex Green (a subsidiary of Shree Ganesh Jewellery), recently announced the opening of bids for another 25 MW.