A total of 19 companies have shown interest in setting up a solar power plant at the Morbe Dam of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC). Among them, some of the well-known overseas companies are participating in the bidding.
In February, the civic body had floated a tender to appoint a contractor to set up a solar and hydropower project at the Morbe Dam on a public-private partnership. The civic body has planned to set up a 1.5 MW hydropower project at the hill of the Morbe dam and a 100 MW solar power project.
Planned around a decade ago, the solar power project at the Morbe Dam seems to have become a reality. The civic body expects to harness around 100 MW of electricity from the project and saves around 20 crores on electricity bills. Both hydropower and solar power projects will be executed simultaneously.
Companies like Tata Power, Power Corporation of India and companies from Singapore have participated in the bidding for setting and running both projects at Morbe Dam in Khalapur taluka are owned by NMMC.
The civic body had first planned to set up a solar power plant in Morbe Dam in 2011. The proposal was delayed due to multiple reasons, including political interference. In 2014, the proposal was cleared by the standing committee and it was supposed to be completed in 2015. Even the contract was awarded. However, the project was scrapped in 2016 by the then municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe.
Mundhe had cities lacunas in the project and scrapped by saying to save Rs 163 crores of public money.
Now, the civic body has planned to set up floating solar power panels at the dam and hydropower on the slope of the hill. As per the NMMC, the civic body would not spend a single rupee on the project. “The project will be executed by a private party and the electricity generated will be bought by the civic body,” said a senior civic official. He added that the rate of per unit electricity will be decided as per the provisions and there would be not any scope of scam.
As per the plan, 100 MW of electricity will be harnessed from solar panels and 1.5 MW from hydropower. “The civic body will save around Rs 20 to 22 crores annually after one year of the generation of electricity from both projects,” said Bangar.