India’s Largest Floating Solar Plant Is Now Fully Operational
India’s largest floating photovoltaic solar plant is now fully operational at Ramagundam in Telangana’s Peddapalli district. The final part capacity of 20 MW out of 100 MW is declared on commercial operation & was commissioned by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), the nation’s foremost public-sector power generator, was commissioned on July 1, raising the total floating solar capacity in commercial operation in the southern region to 217 MW. Previously, NTPC declared commercial operation of 25 MW Floating Solar at Simhadri (Andhra Pradesh) & 92 MW Floating Solar at Kayamkulam (Kerala).
100-MW Floating Solar Project of the Ramagundam is equipped with environmentally friendly as well as cutting-edge technology features. The project's reservoir spans 500 acres & was built with a cost of Rs. 423 crores through M/s BHEL's Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract. There’re 40 blocks, each with a 2.5 MW capacity. One floating platform & an array of 11,200 solar modules make up each block. One transformer, an inverter, & a high-temperature breakers make up the floating platform & the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) floaters on which the solar panels are mounted. This project is unique due to all the electrical equipment are set upon floating ferro-cement platforms.
Solar plants can be either set up or ground-mounted on the surface of water bodies. Though these floating farms are a bit more costly, there are advantages as well. For the installation of photovoltaic panels, there is no requirement of land to be acquired. The presence of water underneath helps them keep cool because of their efficiency. Also, they reduce water evaporation, thereby saving more water for hydropower generation. Approximately 32.5 lakh cubic metres per year water evaporation can be avoided. Similarly, while coal consumption of 1,65,000 tonnes per year can be avoided, CO2 emissions 2,10,000 tonnes per year can be prevented.
Meanwhile, Tata Power Solar Systems, just last week, had cited that commissioning of India’s largest floating solar power project of 101.6 Megawatt Peak (MWp) was done in Kerala backwaters. This project of 350-acre water body is installed in Kayamkulam, Kerala. The installation was accomplished within the stipulated period, despite the arduous challenges of high sea tides, variable water depths, & severe water salinity concerns. Tata Power Solar is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power. Through power purchase agreement category, this project is the first in the Floating Solar Photovoltaic (FSPV). The commissioning of India's first & largest floating solar project is an incremental & innovative step toward meeting India's sustainable energy goals.
The commercial operation of a 25MW floating solar plant at Simhadri in Andhra Pradesh & a 92MW floating solar plant at Kayamkulam in Kerala had been announced by the NTPC earlier. Even at its Ramagundam reservoir, the public-sector undertaking, to generate 100 MW, only about 500 acres of the spread has currently been utilized. Currently, NTPC Ramagundam has a traditional ground-mounted solar farm too generating 10MW power, spread across 50 acres along the national highway. With land not easily available, there is a scope for expansion to generate another 400 MW in the same reservoir. Meanwhile, to promote clean energy, the Telangana government is also learnt to be keen on using the technology of floating solar farms at its many mega reservoirs. The NTPC & the state had held a round of talks earlier.