The center will operate 6,500 acres of surplus port land for green power

The Center has identified 6,500 acres of excess land in 12 major ports across the country to develop solar and wind power projects that will create new revenue streams and generate more green power, according to reports.

These 12 major ports have already switched to renewables to meet their own energy needs, Mint reported citing officials. The excess land will be used to generate green energy for commercial purposes, they said.

Officials said a standing parliamentary committee had given the green light to the plan and suggested the government allocate more land to develop such renewable energy projects.

In August, the Center announced the Green Ports Initiative in which it said major ports would purchase equipment to monitor environmental pollution, dust suppression systems, and install sewage treatment plants and used waters. The government had also announced the establishment of energy production projects from renewable energy sources as part of the Green Port Initiative.

According to the committee, the ports would use large tracts of vacant land to implement the Green Ports Initiative. The initiative will not only ensure an efficient way to use the space, but will also generate income from the sale of energy which can be used to further expand ports.

A typical solar installation requires four acres of land to generate 1 megawatt (MW) of green power. 6,500 acres are therefore expected to produce more than 1,600 MW of power, Mint reported. The land requirement varies for wind power as it depends on the type and size of the rotors. Large turbine blades require less land and give higher efficiency.

The government has said that 110,000 hectares available with major ports along the Indian coast can be used to develop solar and wind projects that will make green energy competitive. Although it is not clear how the projects will be implemented, the Center is considering the implementation of special purpose vehicles (SPV) through the mode of public-private partnership (PPP).

These initiatives will help profitable Indian ports invest in non-port activities that will help reduce carbon emissions, officials said. In September, ports pledged to reduce carbon emissions per tonne of cargo handled by 30% by 2030.

The Ministry of the Navy, Ports and Waterways did not respond to questions about the project.

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(Edited by : Thomas abraham)

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