Powering Uttar Pradesh’s Solar Drive: Eight Key Agencies Present Plans For Bundelkhand Expressway To Shine As State’s First Solar Expressway


Advancing the Uttar Pradesh government’s initiative to transform the Bundelkhand Expressway into a solar-powered expressway, the Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) has progressed with the due diligence study and the expression of interest stage for the project.

The UPEIDA has initiated the bidding process for this project, which will be based on public-private partnership model.

According to the state government’s update from last month, a total of eight solar power developers —Tusco, Torrent Power, Somaya Solar Solutions, 3R Management, Avaada Energy, Atria Brindavan Power, Erisha E Mobility, and Mahapreit — engaged actively and delivered presentations before government authorities on the project.

With this project, Bundelkhand Expressway is all set to become the first greenfield expressway to be fully dependent on solar power.

It is expected to generate 550 Megawatt (MW) of solar power. The state government has identified 1,700 hectares of land for this project. The four-lane expressway is divided into two parts besides a dedicated service lane.

Solar panels will be set up in the gap between two lanes measuring around 20 metres, which will not only help in lighting up the road for commuters but also provide energy solutions for electric vehicles, as well as houses along the highway.

This strip of land is currently being used for fencing to separate the expressway from agricultural land next to it.

Once operational, the solar-powered Bundelkhand Expressway can generate up to Rs 4 crore through lease rent for the UPEIDA. The cost of energy generated by the expressway could lead to an annual profit of Rs 50 crore.

The solar expressway initiative is part of the Uttar Pradesh government’s Solar Energy Policy 2022.

The policy aims to achieve a target of 22,000 MW of solar power projects by 2026-27, showcasing the state’s commitment to renewable energy.

The 296 km four-lane expressway has been constructed at a cost of around Rs 14,850 crore by the efforts of UPEIDA.

The expressway links the Bundelkhand region with the Agra-Lucknow Expressway near Etawah.

It extends from NH-35 at Gonda village near Bharatkoop in Chitrakoot district to near Kudrail village in Etawah district, where it merges with the Agra-Lucknow expressway.

With the expressway all set to be the state’s first solar-powered highway, the state government could aim to later replicate the same model in other expressways like Purvanchal Expressway, Agra-Lucknow Expressway and Gorakhpur Expressway.