Maha will tap into solar energy to overcome power shortage

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Power poles
Pune, Jul 23: Reeling under a continued power deficit, Maharashtra is expanding its solar power generation programme in adherance to the Centre's renewable energy policy, exploring the conducive environs of Vidarbha, Khandesh and Marathwada regions, endowed with bright sunshine.

After commissioning of a modest 1MW solar power plant in Chandrapur in Vidarbha in April last year, ''MahaGenco'', the state owned power generation company is now executing installation of Rs 1600 crore solar power plant at Sakhari in Dhule district in Khandesh region of North Maharashtra which would be generating 125 MW in a big leap over the Chandrapur plant capacity, MahaGenco officials said.

The Sakhari solar plant for which inverters and modules are being imported from Germany and China, is expected to start power generation on its completion in March 2012, a MahaGenco spokesman told PTI.

"Plans are also afoot to set up solar power plant in Osmanabad in Marathwada region," he said.

A feasibility survey of the three regions of Vidarbha, Khandesh and Marathwada has shown that unlike Western Maharashtra and Konkan, they enjoy a plentiful of sunshine for eight months in a year with a scorching sun in the summers to aid solar power generation.

"Since setting up of solar power plants require a larger space as compared to thermal and other plants, to house solar panels, efforts are being made to acquire unused barren government land in these regions to boost the non-conventional energy generation programme in the state," officials said.

PTI

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