Guwahati: The Assam government, at least for the last seven years, has been giving thrust to installing solar power plants across the state.
The government had prepared a solar policy in 2017 to increase the solar power capacity of the state, and it has set a target to generate at least 1,000 MW of electricity in the next three years.
"The state government is trying to make Assam a green energy hub. Assam currently requires 2,200 MW of power to provide electricity to all households across the state," Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
A senior government official told IANS, "The central government made an ambitious plan to install solar power plants in the country. The state government has also prepared multiple plans to increase solar energy. It is envisaged under this solar policy to leverage the solar energy potential of Assam for augmenting the installed solar power capacity by deploying resources provisioned under state and central schemes, policies, and programmes."
"The state government aims to fulfil its commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by promoting clean, accessible, affordable, and equitable solar energy availability to ensure energy security for its citizens, as well as facilitate the meeting of renewable energy obligations placed by various agencies," he added.
According to the official, the solar policy aims to promote grid-connected SPV rooftop power-generating plants among residential, community, institutional, industrial, and commercial establishments.
It will also mitigate the dependence on fossil fuel-based electricity generation and encourage environmentally friendly solar electricity generation.
The state government wants to create an enabling environment for investment in solar energy by the private sector, state government, and individuals.
For this, the rooftop solar power plants will be installed in many districts of the state.
The official maintained that the requirement for fossil fuels in the state will come down in the coming years.
Meanwhile, the Assam government has also planned to set up floating solar power plants in several wetlands in the state.
Another government official said, "This floating solar platform is an innovative way to harness abundant solar rays falling on water bodies and to conserve precious water. It refers to the deployment of photovoltaic panels on the surface of water bodies."
The official mentioned that the advantages of floating solar power plants are that they don't require any land space and are installed on water bodies. The land can be used for other purposes, such as farming or construction.
"The water bodies exert a cooling effect, which improves the performance of solar photovoltaic panels by 5-10 percent. A floating solar power plant is capable of providing electricity to several households located near the pond," the official added.
Northeast India's first floating solar power plant of 10.50 kW capacity was successfully installed by Bhurbandha Gaon Panchayat on a pond in Thanagarha village in Assam's Morigaon district. It was built in association with the Assam Energy Development Agency (AEDA) and a Kolkata-based company. Meanwhile, the biggest solar power plant in this region came up in Amguri town in Assam's Sivasagar district. The plant is capable of generating at least 70 MW of electricity. (IANS)