India’s largest power generation company is expected to commission the country’s largest floating solar power project over the next three months.
According to media reports, NTPC is expected to commission a 100-megawatt floating solar power project in the southern state of Telangana. The project will be spread across 450 acres of the Sri Ram Sagar Reservoir. The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs 4.2 billion, NTPC reported.
Apart from this project, the company is also working on two other floating solar projects in southern states with a total capacity of 117 megawatts — a 92-megawatt project in Kerala and a 25-megawatt project in Andhra Pradesh. It is also working on a 230-megawatt ground-based solar power project in Tamil Nadu.
A number of state governments are looking to develop large-scale floating solar power projects to utilise large water bodies like artificial lakes. Madhya Pradesh is working on a 600-megawatt project at Omkareshwar dam. The project is expected to require an investment of $410 million. International Finance Corporation and government-owned Power Grid Corporation have assured financial assistance for the project.
The Indian government has set a target to have 10 gigawatts of floating solar power capacity and has roped in public sector companies to execute projects across the country. India’s largest hydropower generation company — NHPC Limited — has entered an agreement with the state of Odisha to set up a 500-megawatt floating solar project. It has a similar agreement with the state of Telangana.
According to EPC service provider Black & Veatch, India has the potential to set up 300 gigawatts of floating solar power projects. According to Mitesh Patel (Director), there are several benefits of floating solar power projects. They reduce water loss from evaporation and restrict algae growth in water. Project development at reservoirs of hydropower projects is much easier as power evacuation infrastructure already exists. 300 gigawatts of floating solar capacity can be added in India by utilising just 10-15% of water bodies in the country, Patel had remarked.