India to develop 50 MW floating solar PV plant in Kerala

By Editor


National Hydro Power (NHPC) and the Renewable Energy College (REC), Kolkata have partnered to develop a 50 MW floating solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Kerala, India, according to a report in the Economic Times.

The drive for developing floating solar PV derives from India’s solar power boom. However, water-based plants would not face the land price escalation problem because of the lower competition.  This project is larger than the 1.2-MW plant established in Japan last year, reported the news agency.

Gon Choudhury, chairman, REC NHPC said, “The plant that will come up on any of the several water bodies in Kerala, will take technical and construction assistance from the company. The REC has experience in developing floating solar PV technology, and a 12 KW pilot project will soon begin operations in Kolkata. The Kerala project will cost around $70 million.”

The floating solar PV plant technology is simple and offers greater yield. The panels are mounted on floating platforms and are more resistant to overheating, which reduce output in solar PV. This technology will cost 15 percent less per MW when compared to land-based systems.

Floating solar PV plant has potential synergies and could be 50 percent more efficient than land-based solar. Floating solar technology, unlike other power plants preserves water resources by reducing evaporation during summer heat.

As NHPC is focusing on the use of reservoirs and waste treatment ponds, the environmental impact would be minimal. The long-term maintenance requirements and durability of floating solar PV is still a subject of deep consideration and investigation, added the agency.

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