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NEW DELHI : The Centre has identified 6,500 acres of surplus land at 12 major ports to develop solar and wind power projects, which will also help them generate new revenue streams, said officials, seeking anonymity.

The 12 major ports have already switched to renewables for their energy requirements and are now planning to convert surplus land for commercial green power generation, they said. A parliamentary standing committee has acknowledged the plan and suggested more land should be made available for renewable energy projects, they said.

Queries to the ministry of shipping, ports and waterways remained unanswered till the time of going to press.

Considering that for a typical solar installation, four acres are needed to generate 1MW, 6,500 acres can produce in excess of 1,600MW. For wind, the land requirement could vary depending on the type and size of rotors. Large turbine blades produce higher output and requires less land.

According to the Centre, 110,000 hectares along India’s coast available with major ports will make solar and wind projects cost-competitive.

All Indian ports make profits and it will allow them to make decent investments in non-port activities, especially for reducing carbon emissions, the officials said.

Land along the coast have advantages with consistent wind speed required for efficient power generation. It is, however, not yet clear how the projects will be set up, but the government is thinking of setting up special purpose vehicles through the public-private mode.

The standing committee said ports must make use of large tracts of unused land to ensure the implementation of the Green Port Initiative. Apart from being an efficient way of utilizing the space, the income generated from the sale of energy generated can be used to further augment the development of the ports.

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