National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) Simhadri Super Thermal Power Plant, Visakhapatnam has commissioned a 10 MW floating solar plant, which is part of the 25 MW plant.
According to an NTPC’s press release, it is India’s largest floating installation to date, and it is also regarded as an engineering marvel because of its unique anchoring and mooring techniques. The project was given to BHEL on EPC basis in the year 2019 with a cost of 110 Crores and with a completion period of 15 months.
Diwakar Kaushik, HOP NTPC Simhadri said, ‘’The remaining 15 MW Works are in full swing and it is expected that the next 15MW will be added by August end of this year. After commissioning 15 MW total capacity will be 25 MW.’’
Electricity generation is one of the most significant contributors to global climate change. Coal, nuclear power, and other nonrenewable energy sources provide the majority of the county’s electricity. Thus, the use of these resources to generate energy has certainly a negative influence on the environment.
Clean energy production is critical to combat climate change and on similar lines, this floating solar plant will enhance clean energy developments across the nation in an eco-friendly and effective manner.
About other floating solar plants
Another 100MW floating solar project till date is being developed in Telangana’s Ramagundam and is likely to be commissioned this year. NTPC also plans a 92 MW floating unit at the Kayamkulam plant in Kerala.
What is floating solar?
Floating solar is also known as floating photovoltaics (FPV) or floatovoltaics. A new alternative has been used quite frequently in the solar industry, which is floating solar. The solar array floats above a waterbody or a reservoir in which solar panels must be attached to a buoyant structure. Usually, the floating solar installations are most likely to be located in a lake, basin or man-made water bodies, such as reservoirs.
Advantages of Floating solars
Valuable land space is conserved
One of the biggest advantages of floating solar panels is that they do not take up valuable land space. Many of these facilities can be set up on underutilized areas on water bodies, such as hydroelectric dam reservoirs, wastewater treatment ponds, or drinking water reservoirs.
Higher solar panel performance
Solar panels are designed to endure high temperatures. Other electronics in the plant, however, can be damaged by high temperatures, affecting the plant’s production. The effectiveness of solar panels declines as temperatures rise, however, the water bodies that host floating solar arrays assist in cooling the solar equipment, allowing the panels to produce power at higher efficiencies in hot climates too.
The ponds, reservoirs, and lakes are shaded by the floating solar panel structure, which lowers evaporation. This is especially beneficial in drought-prone locations, where water loss due to evaporation can mount up over time and lead to a shortage. The floating solar panels create shade, which also helps to prevent the production of algae in freshwater bodies.