P2 Solar, a renewable energy company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has acquired a unique hydro-solar hybrid project in Punjab. P2 will develop the project through its wholly-owned Indian subsidiary Jagat Energy Pvt. Ltd. Construction is expected to start in a few months.
The project involves installed of a 0.7-MW mini hydropower facility in a minor canal diversion project of the existing Sidhwan irrigation canal in Ludhiana city. The canal diversion will have minimum impact on the water channel and surrounding terrain, a statement by P2 observed. This type of hydro power installation has long been used around the world and is highly environmentally sustainable. The project provides rights to several kilometers of canal space, so the possibility for significant project expansion over phases is extensive. A solar photovoltaic power plant can be built on the free space above the canal as well.
Punjab has thousands of kilometers of canals, which they are assessing for similar mini-hydro potential. A few projects have already been built and the government is now driving hard to harness additional sites. The authorities are keen to use the free space above the canals to place solar PV facilities. The potential of such hydropower projects is in the hundreds of megawatts in Punjab alone. Other states are also looking at similar systems. Adding a solar component significantly increases the renewable energy potential from a hybrid approach, the statement added.