The largest floating solar installation in India has been commissioned by NTPC
- On the water reservoir of its 2 gigawatt (GW) Simhadri project in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, state-owned NTPC Ltd commissioned India’s largest floating solar photovoltaic (PV) installation of 25 megawatts (MW).
- This is also the first solar project to be built under the Government of India’s Flexibilisation Scheme, which was announced in 2018.
- The project is part of NTPC’s aim to increase renewable energy capacity to 60 gigawatts (GW) by 2032, up from roughly 4GW now. Between 2019 and 2024, NTPC expects to invest $1 trillion to become a 130GW power provider by 2032.
- At Simhadri, NTPC also plans to build up a hydrogen-based micro-grid system as a trial project.
- It is estimated to save 46,000 tonnes of CO2 per year once it is operating. It is also projected to save 1,364 million litres of water each year.
Benefits of Floating Power Plants
- Floating solar plants, according to the World Bank, offer “new prospects for scaling up solar producing capacity, especially in nations with high population density and conflicting uses for accessible land,” which are typical in India.
- Compared to land-based systems, these plants offer “improved energy yield because of the cooling effects of water and the reduced presence of dust.”
- Other benefits include reduced evaporation due to solar panels covering the surface of a reservoir and absorbing the sun’s rays while also decreasing “the evaporative impacts of wind.”