Butwal solar plant operating at full capacity

Binod Pariyar 17 Mar 2024
Butwal solar plant operating at full capacity This undated photo shows solar panels of Butwal Solar Project of Rupandehi. Photo: Binod Pariyar/HimalPress

LUMBINI: Thousands of solar panels can now be seen on paddy fields west of Mangiram in Tilottama Municipality, Rupandehi district. These panels are harvesting solar energy for the largest grid-connected solar energy system promoted by the private sector.

The Butwal Solar Power Project, boasting a capacity of 8.5 MW, is promoted by Ridi Hydropower Development Company Ltd. Over the past three years, the energy generated by the project is being distributed through the grid of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

The company has set up 32,160 solar panels, each with a capacity of 330 watts, on 26 bighas of land leased from Shanti Namuna Secondary School in Tilottma-6. It has deployed 10 inverters, each capable of handling 850 KW, to convert direct current (DC) into alternate current (AC). Moreover, a 7.4-kilometer-long 33 kV transmission line has been built to connect to the Amua substation of NEA for energy evacuation.

“The project has generated 45.33 million kilowatts of energy so far,” said Saeed Sazaruddin, the plant in-charge of Butwal Solar Power Project. “While generation may dip during winter, it is currently operating at full capacity.”

Ridi Hydropower has signed a power purchase agreement with NEA for the sale of energy over 25 years. NEA offers the company Rs 7.3 per unit.

The plant’s energy production is reliant solely on sunlight, as we haven’t installed batteries for energy storage,” Sazaruddin said.

NEA initiated a bidding process for solar power projects totaling 63 MW capacity seven years ago. Out of the 18 projects offered to the private sector, Ridi Hydropower secured the bid for the Butwal Solar Power Project.

Published On: 17 Mar 2024


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