"The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SNNL), an agency created by the Gujarat government for the construction of the ambitious Sardar Sarovar project on Narmada at Kevadiya near here had taken up the task of building this solar power plant about 10 months ago," Patel said.
     
This Rs 109.91 crore canal top solar power plant is a shot in the arm to Gujarat's initiative in tapping solar energy. The project, which covers a distance of 5.5 km from Vishwamitri Siphon to Railway Siphon, has been executed by Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL), he said.

MEIL has already built a 50 MW plant in Maharashtra and a 20 MW plant in Andhra Pradesh.

Patel claimed it is the first solar plant of Gujarat which has come up in the engineering procurement construction (EPC) mode instead of public private partnership (PPP) mode. MEIL will be maintaining it for 25 years.

The project comprises around 33,000 to 36,000 solar panels and has been designed in a manner that the panels will sustain a wind velocity of 150 kilometres per hour. The plant will produce 16.2 million units of power in the first year, he said.

"Since it is coming up over a canal, there will be no wastage of water through evaporation. Then there are no land acquisition issues and this saves money," he added.

Moon will be in the state to deliver a keynote speech at the inaugural session of the 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit at Mahatma Mandir temple in Gandhinagar on Sunday.

During his stay in Gujarat, the Secretary-General is expected to visit Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati ashram too, Patel said.

Vinod Rao, Vadodara District Collector, said that Moon is expected to arrive in the city on Sunday at 1630 hours. As per the scheduled programme, the Secretary-General will reach the state capital on Saturday.

In Gujarat and Delhi, the Secretary-General is scheduled to meet key Indian leaders including President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

The Secretary-General will also meet Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and UN Goodwill Ambassadors in India.

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