As part of its continuous efforts to encourage the use of solar energy, the Uttar Pradesh government is preparing to build up solar power plants on 1700-hectare area along the Bundelkhand Expressway.
As part of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) method, the government wants to build the first solar highway in the state, capable of producing 550 MW of solar electricity. It is noteworthy that a number of well-known businesses expressed interest in taking part in this endeavor.
On the other hand, this project is now being developed and carried out by the Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), a state government organization.
The state government hopes that this solar facility would light about one lakh homes along the road each day. This project is expected to last 25 years, and a 10- to 12-year repayment term is in place. The project’s associated Due Diligence Study has already been completed, as has the Expression of Interest (EOI) phase, which ended in August 2023.
According to the state administration, eight of the top solar power firms presented the concept to government officials in October. These businesses include Somaya Solar Solutions Pvt Ltd, Erisha E Mobility, Tusco Ltd, Torrent Power Ltd, Atria Brindavan Power Ltd, 3R Management Ltd, and Avaada Energy Ltd.
The Bundelkhand Expressway presents a great chance for the construction of solar power facilities. The simple access to land in this area is the main driver behind the construction of this road. It has bright skies and around 800-900 mm of rain on average per year.
There are two sections to this four-lane, 296-kilometer Bundelkhand Expressway: a service lane and the main carriageway. There is now an empty stretch of land running the length of the highway between these two, measuring between 15 and 20 meters. The government now intends to place solar panels over this region, which are utilized for fence and agricultural field separation. As a result, the whole freeway will represent a first step toward becoming solar-powered.
UPEIDA will gain a great deal from the Bundelkhand highway’s expansion as a solar highway. Lease rent is another source of possible income for the Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority, potentially totaling Rs 4 crore. On the other hand, an annual profit of Rs 50 crore might be made from the sale of the generated energy.
It should be mentioned that UPEIDA would profit financially from the installation of solar plants on the Agra-Lucknow, Purvanchal, Gorakhpur, and Bundelkhand expressways each year in terms of reduced energy use.