India is making significant strides in renewable energy, with focus turning to floating solar power projects. These projects offer a unique solution to harness solar energy while utilizing existing water resources.
In floating solar systems, or "floatovoltaics," solar modules are made to float on water. The panels generate energy, which is transferred to a transmission tower through underwater wires.
Floating solar plants are made up of three main components: a buoyancy body, an anchoring system, and a power converter. The buoyancy body keeps the solar panels afloat, the anchoring system keeps the plant from drifting away, and the power converter converts the solar energy into electricity.
These projects offer a number of advantages over traditional ground-mounted solar arrays. First, they can be installed on existing water bodies, such as reservoirs, lakes, and ponds, without requiring any additional land acquisition. This is particularly important in densely populated areas, where land is at a premium.
Second, floating solar panels are less susceptible to overheating than ground-mounted arrays, which can lead to reduced efficiency. This is because the water helps to cool the panels and maintain optimal operating temperatures.
Third, floating solar panels can help to reduce evaporation from water bodies. This is a significant benefit in India, which is prone to drought.
Floating solar projects are still in their early stages of development in India, but they have the potential to play a major role in the country's renewable energy mix. The government is supportive of floating solar development, and a number of large-scale projects are currently underway.
These initiatives highlight India's dedication to renewable energy and its role in mitigating climate change. Here is a overview of these projects.
a. 300 MW floating solar power plant in Angul, Odisha
Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) is constructing a 300 MW floating solar power project at Rengali Reservoir in Angul, Odisha. BHEL is in the process of selecting an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) to execute this project (Source). The reservoir formed by the dam is the second largest in Odisha, covering 37,840 hectares at full level and 28,000 hectares at mean level. Its catchment area of 25,250 square kilometres is mostly covered in forests and wasteland (Source).
b. SJVN Green Energy's Collaboration in Assam
SJVN Green Energy, a subsidiary of Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam(SJVN), and the Assam Power Distribution Company (APDCL) have signed an MoU to invest ₹60 billion ($728.32 million) in developing 1,000 MW of floating solar projects in Assam. This collaboration will help Assam tap into its water resources and solar energy potential to bolster its clean energy capacity and achieve its renewable energy goals (Source).
c. India's Largest Floating Solar Power Project in Telangana
India has completed the construction of its largest floating solar power plant, the 100 MW Ramagundam Floating Solar PV Project in Telangana. Developed by NTPC, this project utilizes the water surface area of Ramagundam Reservoir to generate clean electricity. The successful operation of this project is a significant milestone in India's renewable energy journey and demonstrates the country's ability to implement large-scale floating solar projects. (Source)
d. Madhya Pradesh's Ambitious Plan for the World's Largest Floating Solar Plant
Madhya Pradesh to construct the world's largest floating solar power plant in Khandwa, generating 600 Megawatts of power and worth ₹3000 crores. This ambitious project capitalizes on Khandwa's water bodies and abundant solar potential to significantly contribute to India's renewable energy capacity. Upon completion, it will reinforce India's global leadership in floating solar technology and propel the country's clean energy ambitions. (Source)
India's foray into floating solar power projects is a testament to its commitment to renewable energy and a sustainable future. These projects offer a unique and innovative solution to harness the power of the sun while utilizing existing water resources. As India continues to invest in floating solar technology, it is poised to become a global leader in the transition to clean energy.