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Nakhatrana Biomass Energy Ltd. (NBEL) was developing a 10 MW biomass based power project in the in Nakhatrana taluka of Kachchh district of Gujarat. A species called Prosopis Juliflora (an invasive species) was the proposed biomass fuel.

As the area was an arid region, with water stress, the project was designed to consider overall Sustainability including sourcing of biomass, water management and opportunities for regional development and livelihood generation. The biomass availability for the power plant was assessed by using GIS for mapping the biomass areas. Ground truthing was adopted to classify and further refine the mapping.

The biomass collection was proposed through community participation. To do so, Rapid Rural Appraisals of the catchment area were conducted in 35 villages surrounding the proposed forest land to be allotted to NBEL by the Government of Gujarat. Water stress was studied by carrying out groundwater surveys and preparing detailed inventory of the existing ground water structures, variations in ground water levels and quality, ground water flow direction etc. Availability of biomass for the power plant was identified based on growth and accessibility.

Locations for water abstraction for operating were identified. A combination of systems was proposed to recharge 100% of the water withdrawn; including rainwater harvesting within the power plant and constructing percolation tanks in addition. Mechanisms of engaging local community were also recommended.

Sustainability Assessment of proposed 12 MW Biomass Based power project at Nakhatrana in Gujarat
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Sustainability Assessment of proposed 12 MW Biomass Based power project at Nakhatrana in Gujarat