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Floating Solar Power in India

Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has recently announced its plan to add 10 gigawatts (GW) of capacity of solar plants across the country on hydel reservoirs.

As of September 2019, 32 GW of solar power has been achieved in India. India has immense area under hydel projects and reservoirs. This initiative from the MNRE shall help greatly India move closer to its ambitious target of 100 GW of solar power by 2022 (175 GW target for total renewable energy by 2022).

As reported in Financial Express news article dated 2nd September 2019 “As per industry estimates, utilising only 10-15% of India’s water resources for floating solar plants could generate up to 300,000 MW (300 GW) of power.”

India’s Largest Floating Solar Power Plant

Commissioned on 4th December 2018 and owned by Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), currently the 500 KW Banasura Sagar Reservoir Solar Power Plant is India’s largest. The plant covers 54,450 sq ft over the water surface and covers an area of 1.25 acres.

KSEB Kerala 500KWp floating Solar Power Banasurasagar Reservoir

The Madhya Pradesh Government is planning to build a 1000 MW floating solar power plant over India’s largest reservoir on Indira Sagar Dam. This project is expected to cost approx Rs. 5,000 Cr.

More Floating Solar Business Coming Up

On 1st March 2019, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) had called for online bids to build 150 MW of floating solar capacity on Getalsud and Dhurwa dams in Jharkhand. Later, SECI also floated the tender for 250 MW floating plant in Tamil Nadu.

Damodar Valley Corporation is also planning to install floating solar projects of capacity 50 MW each at all the four locations of its dams — Tilaya, Konar, and Maithon in Jharkhand, and Panchet which is partly in Bengal and partly in Jharkhand.

On 6th August 2019, Uttar Pradesh cabinet cleared 150 MW floating solar project on the Rihand dam.

NTPC has planned for a total of 637 MW (including 105 MW Kayamkulam project) of floating solar plants that are in process or pipeline.

MSEDCL (Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd.) is also planning to develop 1000 MW of floating solar power projects in Maharashtra.

Companies doing Floating Solar Power Implementation

Some of the companies that are providing floating solar power plant implementation in India are Tata Power Solar, Shapoorji Pallonji, Renew Solar, Adtech Syatems and Vikram Solar which specialises in relatively smaller projetcs.

Pros and Cons of Floating Solar Power Plants