Explained: Bihar set to become the first Indian state to have two green energy towns - Rajgir and Bodh Gaya
Why in News?
Rajgir and Bodh Gaya are set to be India's first fully green energy towns. The towns would begin getting solar energy through one of its kind renewable energy projects from 2023.
Bihar with two Green towns: Details
- Bihar is equitable with Delhi, Goa and Odisha to supply 24X7 clean round the year through its renewable energy hybrid model.
- Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a central government PSU has agreed to Bihar's proposal to feed clean power to both the towns.
- It would also supply some power to important government installations in Patna like the Governor's house, chief minister's house, Patna High Court, Gyan Bhawan, Bihar museum and also Vidyut Bhawan.
- The state government wishes to use land available in Lakhisarai and Bhagalpur district to construct solar energy plants.
- The project will get started by June 2023.
- The excess solar energy generated through the proposed plants will also be used to run the turbines for water supply and other power-driven works.
- The effective cost would be off ₹ 4.03 per unit (kWh). However, Bihar would be paying SECI ₹2.77 billion annually for procurement of the renewable energy power.
- The Centre has also waived off the ₹1 per unit inter-state transmission charges to encourage renewable energy projects commissioned by June 2023.
How will it happen?
“Bihar has opted for a bundle power plan, using solar energy during the day and hydel power through pump storage facility in evening to meet its full requirement of clean power for Rajgir and Bodh Gaya,” as quoted by Sanjeev Hans who is Bihar’s energy secretary and the chairman-cum-managing director of the Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL).
The excess solar energy that would be generated during the daytime would be used to run the turbines that pump and store water in the reservoir upstream. This would be used to generate hydel pump storage power in the evening.
SECI had floated the tender in 2020 for its green energy projects. However Bihar expressed its interest now in February 2021. The power is expected to be available from June 2023 onwards.
About Rajgir and Bodh Gaya
Rajgir is an ancient city in Nalanda district of Bihar. It was earlier called Girivraj and was the first capital of Magadha. In the age of Mahabharata the city is said to be ruled by Jarasandha.
The city is very historically significant as both Mahavira and Buddha taught their beliefs in Rajgir during the 6th and 5th century BC, and the Buddha was offered a forest monastery here by king Bimbisara.
Bodh Gaya needs no introduction. It is the place where Gautama Buddha first got enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. It is the most important place for Buddhists, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath.