solar power: Andhra Pradesh now home to India’s largest floating solar power plant after NTPC starts operations in Simhadri

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Andhra Pradesh is now home to India’s largest floating solar power plant. State-owned NTPC has started operations of India’s largest floating solar PV project at its Simhadri Thermal Power Station in Visakhapatnam.

“In line with corporate disclosure requirements, we would like to inform that following the successful commissioning of 15MW capacity, Simhadri Floating Solar PV Project in Simhadri, Andhra Pradesh is declared in commercial operation at 10:00 a.m. . of 21.08.2021,” public producer NTPC said in the regulatory filing.

Due to its inherent advantages over land-based projects, which require large continuous tracts of non-agricultural and non-forest land, floating solar power projects are seen as a key element in India’s ambition to create 450 GW (gigawatts) of renewable energy capacity.

The cooling effect of water minimizes temperature-related losses, reduces the rate of evaporation from water bodies and lowers maintenance costs.

NTPC’s floating solar facility spans over 75 acres of the Simhadri Reservoir area. It will generate enough electricity to power 7,000 homes using more than one lakh of solar PV modules.

The initiative will save 46,000 tonnes of CO2 and 1,364 million liters of water each year, enough to cover the needs of 6,700 households for an entire year.

The Simhadri station is now also the first of its kind to be equipped with an open-sea water intake from the Bay of Bengal, which has been in operation for over 20 years.

The floating solar installation is part of the coal giant’s goal to go green by 2032, when it plans to build 60 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity. It is also the first solar project under the Ministry of Energy’s 2018 “flexibilization” policy, which allows generators to supply electricity from any of their sources depending plant efficiency, thereby reducing discom costs.

NTPC is also building a 100 MW floating solar power plant on the reservoir of its Ramagundam thermal power plant in Tamil Nadu.

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