Nestled between the green hills of Kambalakonda and Simhachalam, the Mudasarlova reservoir is one of the oldest man-made water bodies in the state of Andhra Pradesh, and has been supplying about a million gallons of drinking water to households across Visakhapatnam, on a daily basis. It is also a very scenic picnic spot that is popular with residents and tourists alike.
Now, the reservoir will soon add another facet to its name, making Visakhapatnam the first city in Andhra Pradesh to achieve this particular milestone.
By the end of May, floating solar panels will be installed in the reservoir for the state’s first solar power plant project envisioned by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC).
While states like Kerala and West Bengal have already begun to harness solar technology to meet their energy needs, it is claimed that the Mudasarlova project, with a proposed generation capacity of 2000 kWp (kilowatt peak), would be larger and much more expansive than the models currently operating across the country.
Work for the ₹11 crore project commenced on Monday, with the completion of the installation of floating bases for the solar panels in the reservoir.
These bases have been designed to have bed-like structure at the base, which would prevent the panels from being damaged, in case the reservoir runs out of water. The GVMC authorities have claimed to finish installation of the solar panels by the end of this month, and the entire project is expected to take off in two months.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, a GVMC source attached to the project said, “We have started to set up the floating bases, and solar plants are likely to be placed by the end of this month. The bases will have bed-like structure at the bottom so that when the water dries up, the panels will not get damaged. It may take two months for the completion of the project.”
It is believed that this solar power plant can endure the worst of weather. The authorities also stated that not only is the project environment-friendly, but the floating solar panels have proven to be more efficient than their roof and land counterparts. The GVMC officials also added that besides generating power, the project will play a role in reducing the evaporation of water from the reservoir to certain degree.
Additionally, the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) is working in tangent to the solar project by enhancing the Mudasarlova Park which lies adjacent to the reservoir. Landscaping, expansion of greenery, installation of new equipment with adequate LED lighting, a children’s play area, walking paths, shelter zones, and drinking water facilities, are some of the steps that have been chalked down by the civic body.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)