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World Bank, WAPDA to setup Pakistan’s first floating solar farm

Under the project, a 150 MW floating solar subproject will be deployed in the Ghazi Barrage headpond and another floating project of similar capacity at the Forebay of the existing Ghazi Barotha Hydropower plant. The project would greatly enhance the electricity supply and help meet the rising demand for electricity in the country.

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The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) plans to take on the Floating Solar Project (FSP or the Project) and, in that effort, seeks financing from the World Bank. Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority has prepared a Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP), and according to a report by Business Recorder, it is engaged in meetings with the World Bank to establish a 300 MW floating solar project in the country.

A delegation from the World Bank is expected to reach Pakistan today for a ten-day visit, for the initial assessment and evaluation of the project. The World Bank delegation will meet with all the relevant authorities and stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Water Resources, Water and Power Development Authority, and the Economic Affairs Division. After the visit, the World Bank mission would generate a feasibility report of the project, which would detail the proposed financing and the expected Return on Investment (ROI) in the following period.

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The World Bank team includes but is not limited to; Gunjan Gautam (Senior Energy Specialist and Task Team Leader), Rikard Liden (Lead Energy Specialist and co-Task Team Leader), Imran ul Haq (Senior Social Development Specialist), Sana Ahmad (Environmental Specialist), Uzma Sadaf (Sr Procurement Specialist), Shafiq Hussain (Procurement Specialist), Noureen LNU (Financial Management Specialist), Mohammad Omar Khalid (Senior Consultant) to be supported by Amna W Mir (Senior Program Associate).

The World Bank mission is expected to hold a meeting with the project management unit of WAPDA on the 22 April in Islamabad. Following which, it is scheduled to meet with the officials of the Water Resources Ministry on 23 April. The mission would also listen to briefings and partake in discussion sessions with the relevant authorities.
According to the initial assessment conducted by the Water and Power Distribution Authority of Pakistan, the project is expected to strengthen the capacity of WAPDA as it increases the supply of electricity by financing 300 MW floating solar subprojects in water body of the already existing project of the Ghazi-Barotha complex.

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Under the project, a 150 MW floating solar subproject will be deployed in the Ghazi Barrage headpond and another floating project of similar capacity at the Forebay of the existing Ghazi Barotha Hydropower plant. The project would greatly enhance the electricity supply and help meet the rising demand for electricity in the country.

Currently, according to the National Electric Power Regulator Authority state industry report 2021, Pakistan’s total installed electricity generation capacity is 143,588 GWH, of which a measly 4,521 GWH is produced by renewable sources such as solar and wind. Thermal sources account for 61.76 percent, whereas Hydel sources account for 27.02 percent. A shift toward renewable sources of energy was long pending and is a major component of Pakistan’s vision 2050.