In a big push for renewable energy generation, the government is planning to install solar panels on the National Highways across the country.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Thursday (5 August), Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said the ministry has "decided to explore solar energy generation potential on National Highways and to install solar panels in available places that are not earmarked to be used for any transport or highway related services, plantation and meet the requirements for installation of solar panels,".
The minister further informed that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) "to conduct feasibility studies of establishment of solar power projects on the available vacant land parcels with the road and rooftops of NHAI buildings/structures at Toll Plaza and other NHAI owned buildings/structures".
However, no proposal has been received by NHAI so far, the minister said.
Solar panels have been installed on Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) and Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME) at Duhai Interchange (382 KWp capacity) and at Dasna Interchange (450 KWp Capacity), and on roof tops of toll plazas in the projects of Purre-Sotapur, Nagpur bypass, Waiganga Bridge to Chhattisgarh Border and Solapur-Yedashi.
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