The Indian government has expressed intentions to launch another highly ambitious solar power program. The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy is exploring the appetite for setting up floating solar power projects.
Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), an entity under the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, recently issued a document inviting expression of interest from prospective project developers interested in setting up floating solar power projects in the country.
The document mentions a possible capacity of 10 gigawatts. The SECI, however, does not give any justification for choosing such a massive target for a largely untested segment of the solar power generation technology.
SECI has called upon the prospective developers to share how much capacity they are willing to develop under this category and their past experience in setting up solar power projects, including floating projects. The project developers would also be required to submit an indicative tariff for these projects.
This is the first concerted effort by the government to a dedicated program to set up floating solar power projects. Earlier, the ministry launched a pilot program wherein developers were awarded small floating projects with cumulative capacity of 50 megawatts across the country.
We had recently reported that two solar power projects of 10 megawatts capacity each will be commissioned in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. The state of Kerala already has a 100 kilowatt floating solar power project. The floating platform was indigenously developed by NTPC Energy Technology Research Alliance, the research & development arm of NTPC Limited, India’s largest power generation company.
The Andhra Pradesh government is reportedly planning to set up a 100 megawatt floating solar power project at Penna Ahobilam Balancing Reservoir, which itself has a hydro power generation capacity of 20 megawatts.
The plan for perhaps world’s largest floating solar power project has been proposed by NHPC Limited, India’s largest hydro power generation company. The company has proposed to set up a 600 megawatt floating solar power project at at the 1,960 MW Koyna hydro power project, located in the state of Odisha.