Telangana to set up floating solar plants

To establish Floating Solar PV projects on two reservoirs of KLIS to generate 1,000 MW

By Author  |  Published: 1st Aug 2020  12:28 amUpdated: 1st Aug 2020  12:37 am
floating solar plants
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Hyderabad: Telangana State, which has implemented several innovative power and water-saving initiatives in the past six years, is all set to take another revolutionary step — setting up Floating Solar Photo Voltaic (FSPV) based power generation units on its reservoirs. Two organisations have already proposed a total of 1,000 MW of solar power to be generated on different reservoirs of the multi stage Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS).

While the Hydro-electric Power Generation Company (NHPC) has proposed a 500 MW power unit on Mid Manair, Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) has submitted a similar proposal to the State government for generation of 500 MW on Lower Manair Dam. The State nodal agency, TSREDCO (Telangana State Renewable Energy development Corporation), which initially submitted a pilot project to the government to set up a 100 MW floating solar unit on Annaram reservoir of KLIS, will be helping the NHPC and the SCCL in setting up the floating solar power plants by providing technical help and also in preparing the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs).

“Telangana government is looking at floating solar power generation as a potential option since the State doesn’t have suitable waste lands for setting up ground mounted solar power plants. Telangana State, which topped the country on various fronts, will be able to dominate in this sector too,” a senior official of TSREDCO told Telangana Today.

While the State government is looking at the feasibility of setting up these solar PV units on reservoirs that would also help reduce evaporation of precious water from the water bodies, the TSREDCO says that captive generation of solar energy will help power the heavy pumps that lift Kaleshwaram water to great heights. “The estimated power consumption of the KLIS is approximately 7,000 MW. If hydro power is augmented with floating solar power to meet the power demands of the lift irrigation schemes, Telangana can become a role model for the entire world,” the official said.

The government, on the other hand, has also considered the advantages of saving precious government lands to set up solar panels on the ground. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in its study, said the total potential of floating solar energy generation in the country could be to the tune of 24,000 MW. Telangana State, according to TERI, can produce 6,130-18,529 MW of power through FSPVs under different scenarios over the cumulative reservoir area of 1,928 square kms.

It is estimated that the investment cost of floating solar in India had drastically come down and is now competing with ground-based solar power generating units. TSREDCO has estimated that a 100 MW floating power unit on KLIS could cost Rs 3.23 crore per megawatt. This is less when compared to the 2016, 2 MW project in Visakhapatnam that cost the government Rs 5.4 crore per MW.

India, as a whole, has a total installed capacity of 2.7 MW peak from FSPV. China tops with 960 MWp, Japan 210 MWp, Korea 79 MWp, Taiwan 26 MWp, UK 13 MWp and all others put together produce 26 MWp. In India, the NTPC has envisaged 32 MW, 100 MW and 145 MW FSPV on their raw water storage reservoirs. These reservoirs have no complications such as fishing, depth issues and evacuation is near the FSPV at 33 KV level.

The Rihand Dam in Uttar Pradesh is working on three 50 MW FSPVs. Madhya Pradesh is planning to implement 100 MW FSPV on Yaswant Sagar dam under Indore Smart City scheme. Maharashtra government has proposed 1,000 MW on four dams which is under study. Madhya Pradesh is planning 600 MW on Indira Sagar dam, but DPR and other studies are yet to be prepared. Odisha too is planning for a 500 MW FSPV and the process of entering into an MoU with the NHPC is under way.

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