Kolkata: In a significant boost to the renewable energy sector, the Bengal government has come up with a unique idea of installing floating solar plants in the state.State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay on Saturday said the first solar floating projects with a capacity of 5 MW each will be set up at Sagardighi in Murshidabad and Bakreshwar in Birbhum. There is a plan to install another 100 MW floating solar project in Bankura’s Mukutmanipur in phases. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeWhile talking to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on “Sustainable Initiatives in Power: Creating Values for Future” organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the minister said that the three floating solar projects will be completed within the next year. Availability of land is, however, a major issue.Chattopadhyay said: “A Detailed Project Report (DPR) has already been prepared for the Sagradighi floating solar project which is expected to be commissioned in the next six months. Another 5 MW floating solar project is coming up at Bakreshwar followed by a 100 MW floating solar project in Mukutmanipur.” The 100 MW floating solar project will be installed on an irrigation reservoir located at Mukutmanipur. The West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL) is the implementing agency of the project. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedA N Biswas, Commissioner, department of Power and NES, said: “We have sought a list of waterbodies from the state Irrigation Department where the floating solar projects could be set up. We begin at Sagardighi on an experimental basis. The other projects will be initiated later. Bengal is the first state in the country to implement this project.” It was learnt that it requires 4.5 acre of land for setting up a solar plant which could produce 1 MW of solar energy. Availability of land, therefore, remains a serious issue for the state government. According to an estimate, the 5 MW floating solar plant would cost the government around Rs 28 crore.Meanwhile, it may be mentioned that Chattopadhyay said the state government has introduced advanced machinery to reduce the emission of harmful gas coming out of the old coal-based power plants at Kolaghat, Bandel and other locations.