The photo is sourced from ntpc.co.in
NTPC previously commissioned floating SPPs in two other southern states of the country – Kerala (92 MW) and Andhra Pradesh (25 MW). Implementation of the project worth 4.23 Indian rupees ($53.5 thousand) in the state of Telangana resulted in capacity increase from 117 MW to 217 MW of the floating SPPs in the south of the country. The entire area of the new SPP located on the surface of the reservoir in the city of Ramagundam, amounts to 600 acres (243 hectares). Partial topping the reservoir surface from direct sunlight will reduce evaporation from the water bodies by 70% and, thereby, save 2 billion litres of water per year, which is equivalent to annual water consumption of 10,000 Indian households.
Easier cooling is one of the advantages of floating solar panels over the onshore ones, as Hesan Ziar, Professor at Delft University of Technology told the Global Energy Association. “The main cooling mechanism for solar panels is convection, and the air currents above the water are generally cold, which keeps low the temperature of the panels, thereby increasing their efficiency and, as a result, energy production.” According to Professor Ziar, the radiation balance can also be considered one of their advantages. “When solar panels are ground-mounted, the total albedo (volume ratio of the surface reflected radiation to the absorbed one) of this area changes to reducing the amount of the earth reflected radiation. However, when solar power plants are mounted on water, this does not happen since the albedo level of both water and the panels is low, and approximately at the level of 5%”.
The installed capacity of the onshore and floating photovoltaic panels in India increased by 26%, i.e. to 49.7 GW in 2021 according to the data of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This growth can accelerate in the next decade as India plans to increase capacity of the renewable energy generators (including its hydropower plants) from the current 147 GW to 500 GW by 2030. Commissioning of new power plants should help India meet the goal of GDP energy intensity reduction by 45% declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at last year’s UN Climate Change Conference.