GW of Projects in Dholera Solar Park Get Environment Ministry’s Approval with Conditions

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Calendar 15 May,2019 | Avirahi Group

The demand for energy grows with each passing day while traditional resources remain limited. The world today needs a clean and cost-efficient solution. Solar energy is one of the best options when it comes to renewable energy and keeps that in mind solar power plants are being set up. One such project is the Dholera Solar Park. The selected area for the proposed project required proficient civil work in order to address the important requirements of a Solar Park.

The committee supervising the projects associated with the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) has suggested that the 1st phase of the 1 GW solar power project can begin in the inter-tidal locations. But, the committee has put forth a few conditions. The committee found out that approximately eight-thousand hectares fall under CRZ-1B which is an inter-tidal zone and is an exceedingly eroding area. The mudflats are said to be rather sensitive ecologically and the characteristics should ideally never be altered.

Hence, it has been suggested by the committee that an erosion modeling study spanned over a period of 30 years should be conducted. The project developers have also been asked by the committee to study the associated risks and the rise in sea level for the succeeding 30 years.

It has also come to the notice of the committee that the area falls under the Central Asia flyway of migratory birds. This means that the probable impact on the birds would have to be evaluated and the Standing Committee of Wildlife would have to give a clearance. After all these studies have been conducted, the committee would further look into the matter for the inclusion of the prevailing capacity of the proposed project.

The developers will have to tackle a major afforestation initiative in the area to fight against the possible increase in ambient temperature because of the installations of solar panels. This would have to be accomplished simultaneously with the implementation of the project but afforestation can’t be achieved on non-vegetated mudflats.

Mentioned Below are a Few Other Determinants:

-> Groundwater cannot be extracted to meet the requirement of water throughout the building and operation phase.

-> The mudflats and the connecting inter-tidal streams won’t be touched at all during the construction of the project.

-> An external agency of repute (third party) would be appointed for overseeing of the proposed project.

The Dholera Special Investment Regional Development Authority made a presentation earlier to the committee regarding the project. Mentioned below are some of the major points shown in the presentation.

-> The Gujarat Government has proposed to set up the largest solar power park in the world at Dholera of 4, 400 MW.

-> DSIR’s total land area is approximately 920 square kilometers of which 520 square kilometers has been allotted for the purpose of town planning and nearly 400 sq. km falls under CRZ of Gulf of Khambhat.

-> The overall area available for the construction of the solar park after excluding the mud-flats, ‘No-Go’ salt marshes area, interspersed areas, and mangrove would be somewhere around 8,594.95 ha of which the suggested solar project would occupy an area of nearly 8,252 ha.

-> The proposed project will cover the land of approximately 8,594.95 hectares of which 7,949.17 hectare falls under CRZ-1B, 5.03 ha in CRZ-IVB, 436.40 ha in the non-CRZ zone and 204.34 ha in CRZ-III.

-> The river Sukhbhadar passes through the northern side of the site and the special investment region touches the Gulf of Khambhat.

-> Absence of eco-sensitive areas within two to three kilometers of the site. The nearest one is Velvadar Black Buck sanctuary which is about four kilometers 4 km south-west from the closest solar plot planned.

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