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Bikramgarh Jheel to get Kolkata’s first floating solar power plant
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and the state power department is planning to set up a 300KW floating solar power plant on Bikramgarh Jheel, located behind South City Mall. This will be the first floating solar power plant in the city proper.
According to an agreement, solar power to be produced from the project will be sold to CESC. “CESC has agreed to buy power during the day. At night, solar power will be used to illuminate the jheel. We will beautify the entire area to make it a tourists’ destination,” said a KMC lighting department official.
KMC officials made an on-spot survey of the waterbody last week before submitting a detailed project report to the civic brass. The project will help to save around Rs 4.5 lakh electricity bill per month.
Solar power expert Santi Pada Gon Chowdhuri, who heads the Arka Renewable Energy College, is providing technical assistance and designing the plant. According to Gon Chaudhuri, Bikramgarh Jheel used to cover an area of about 7-8 acres earlier but has now been reduced to almost half. “The floating plant will not only help to generate solar power, it will also help to prevent further encroachment and filling up of the waterbody,” he said.
The entire project, including beautification, will require about Rs 3 crore. Gon Chaudhuri said that an ‘echo sounding method’ was adapted to measure depth of the waterbody. “It has been found that the waterbody has a depth of only about 3 feet,” he said.
Local borough chairperson Tapan Dasgupta felt that once implemented, the project will be beneficial for the city. “The jheel will be saved from further encroachment. We will beautify the area that will benefit local residents,” Dasgupta said.