India’s largest floating solar plant
GS Paper - 3 (Energy)
Andhra Pradesh can now boast of India’s largest floating solar power plant after state-run NTPC commissioned a 25 MW project on the reservoir at its Simhadri coal-fired power station in Visakhapatnam on 21 August 2021. Floating solar power projects are seen as a game changer in India's quest for building 450 GW (gigawatts) renewable energy capacities because of their inherent advantages over onland projects, which require large contiguous tracts of non-farming, non-forest land.
- Floating solar reduces temperature related losses due to the cooling effect of water they float on, reduce evaporation rate of water bodies and have lower maintenance costs.
- NTPC’s floating solar installation covers 75 acres of the Simhadri reservoir’s surface.
- It will produce power from more than a lakh of solar PV modules for lighting 7,000 households.
- The project will annually save 46,000 tonnes of CO2 emission and 1,364 million litres of water, which is adequate to meet the requirement of 6,700 households in a year.
- The floating solar plant is part of the coal-burning behemoth’s plan to turn green by adding a 60 gigawatts renewable energy capacity by 2032.
- It is also the first solar project to be set up under the power ministry’s 2018 ‘flexibilisation’ scheme allowing generators to supply power from any of their sources, based on plant efficiency, to reduce discoms’ cost.
- NTPC is also building a 100 MW floating solar power plant on the reservoir of its Ramagundam thermal power station in Tamil Nadu.
- Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Ltd has tied up with NHPC to explore, plan and develop commercially feasible floating solar power projects with a total capacity of 500 MW in a phased manner on the state's reservoirs.