Biggest floating solar power plant in India by generation capacity of 100MW is being developed by NTPC at Ramagundamin Peddapalli district of Telangana.

  • The Solar Power Plant project is in line with India’s commitment to attain the target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022 including 100 GW of solar installed capacity.
  • The Floating Solar Plants
    • It refers to the deployment of photovoltaic panels on the surface of water bodies. They are a viable alternative to land-based solar arrays with applications in India.
      • There are a large number of major reservoirs in the Southern Region which provides a huge opportunity to go for renewable energy in the floating solar method.
    • Projects Coming up in India
      • The thermal plant at Ramagundam would be one of the renewable (solar) energy plants being developed by National Thermal Power Corporation Limited with an installed capacity of 447 MW in the Southern Region and the entire capacity would be commissioned by March 2023.
      • The renewable energy plants that are likely to be commissioned in the next three months are 25 MW floating solar plant at Simhadri thermal power plant near Visakhapatnam and 92 MW floating solar plant at Kayamkulam in Kerala.
  • Advantages
    • Address Land Acquisition Issues: The key challenges that face renewable energy plant owners are land acquisition, grid connectivity, regulations and off-take.
      • Floating solar plants balance high population density and competing uses for available land. The land can be used for other purposes, such as farming or construction.
    • Cooling Effect: The bodies of water exert a cooling effect, which improves the performance of solar photovoltaic panels by 5-10 per cent.
      • Over time, this translates into significant cost savings.
    • Other Advantages: Reduced grid interconnection costs, reduced water evaporation, improved water quality, and reduced algal blooming.
  • Challenges
    • Increased Cost: Engineering and construction costs are usually higher than those of a ground-mounted solar farm.
    • Safety Issues: Since floating solar involves water and electricity, more consideration must be given to cable management and insulation testing than on land, especially when cables are in contact with water.
    • Degradation and Corrosion: A floating solar plant has moving parts that are subject to constant friction and mechanical stress.
      • Systems that are poorly designed and maintained could suffer from catastrophic failures.
      • The installation is at risk of degradation and corrosion due to moisture, especially in more aggressive coastal environments.
    • Understanding of Water-bed Topography: Developing floating solar projects requires a thorough understanding of water-bed topography and its suitability for setting up anchors for floats.
  • Other Solar Energy Initiatives in India
    • The National Solar Mission : Solar energy has taken a central place in India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change with the National Solar Mission as one of the key Missions.
    • INDCs target: It targets installing 100 GW grid-connected solar power plants by 2022.
      • This is in line with India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions target to achieve about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources and to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent from 2005 level by the year 2030.
    • Launch of Solar Alliance: The launch of the International Solar Alliance was announced by the PM Modi and French President in 2015, at the 21st session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris, France.
    • Central Government Schemes: Such as Solar Park Scheme, Canal bank & Canal top Scheme, Bundling Scheme, Grid Connected Solar Rooftop Scheme etc.
    • One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG): India has an ambitious cross-border power grid plan ‘One Sun One World One Grid’ that seeks to transfer solar power generated in one region to feed the electricity demands of others.

NTPC

  • The National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd is a central Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Union Ministry of Power.
  • It is India’s largest energy conglomerate with roots planted way back in the year 1975 to accelerate power development in India.
  • NTPC aims to provide reliable power and related solutions in an economical, efficient and environment-friendly manner, driven by innovation and agility.
  • NTPC became a Maharatna company in May 2010.
  • The headquarters of NTPC is located in New Delhi.