India’s largest floating solar power project becomes operational in Telangana
Technology: India’s largest floating solar power project has now become fully functional at Ramagundam in the Peddapalli district, Telangana. The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has set up the 100 MW plant through Barat heavy electronics (BHEL) under an engineering procurement and construction EPC contract.
The National Thermal Power Corporation has set up the plant in the reservoir of a thermal power plant to conserve valuable land resources and water resources by reducing evaporation. The setup cost of the Solar water project is 424 crores and is spread over 1500 acres.
The official has reported that this is the largest floating solar power plant in the country that is present in a single location. The presence of floating solar panels can reduce the evaporation rate from water bodies thereby helping in water conservation.
The project is expected to reduce 30 2.5 lakh cubic meters of water evaporation approximately per year. Similarly, coal consumption of 1,65,000 tons and CO2 emission of 2,10,000 tons can be reduced per year.
The project was equipped with advanced technology as well as environment-friendly features to ensure that the aquatic ecosystem is preserved while producing clean power.
According to the ministry of New and renewable energy, the project is divided into 40 blocks each having 2.5MW. Each block of the solar power plant consists of 1 floating platform and an array of 11200 solar modules.
The floating platform consists of 1 inverter, Transformer, and HT breaker. The Solar module is placed on floaters manufactured with high-density polyethylene HDPE material.
The entire floating system is being constructed through special high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) rope by placing dead weights in the balancing Reservoir bed. The power is being evacuated through the existing switchyard through 33 kV underground cables.
All major components of the Solar Plant like solar PV module floaters, biodegradable natural Ester, oil-filled inverted duty, Transformers, Switchgear, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), and cables are indigenous.
With the commissioning of the project at Ramagundam the total commercial operation of floating solar capacity in the southern region has now gone up to 217 MW, NTPC said.
Under the floating plants, the photovoltaic panels deployed on the surface of water bodies are considered a viable alternative to land-based solar arrays. Floating solar units prove to be cost-efficient when compared to ground-mounted plans.
1 MW Solar photovoltaic Plant on the ground requires 5 acres of land and land acquisition is becoming increasingly more difficult than she is going for a floating method. According to NTPC officials, setting up floating solar units on water bodies and huge reservoirs help them in cutting down on the cost.
The Maharatna Company is referring to solar floating plants due to their advantages. It has upcoming plans to set up solar projects across all thermal power plants in the country. A large number of major reservoirs are present in South India. NTPC Southern region plans to focus on floating solar plants.
Experts say floating plants have many advantages. As water bodies exert a cooling effect this improves the efficiency of the solar photovoltaic panels by 5% to 10%. It means significant cost savings for the plant owners. The Other benefits include reduced water evaporation, reduced grid interconnection costs, and improved water quality.