Last week, the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet of Ministers approved the construction of the largest floating photovoltaic station with a capacity of 150 MW. It is expected that the station will be commissioned in May 2020.
In India, floating power plants are gaining popularity, as there are problems with land acquisition for large-scale ground-based solar power plants.
The potential of floating solar power plants in India is estimated at 300 GW; they can be built using only 10-15% of the water bodies in states such as Kerala, Assam, Odisha and West Bengal.
Most floating solar stations are planned to be built in the states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The active players participating in these tenders are ReNew, Shapoorji & Pallonji, S & W, Mahindra, Waaree and BHEL.
Despite the fact that land that is scarce in India is not required for floating solar power plants, the cost of developing floating systems, including fasteners, installation and maintenance, is about 30-50% higher than that of ground systems. At the same time, the output of floating solar installations is also higher, since the efficiency of the panels’ increases due to the cooling effect of water (plus 6-7%).
By the end of 2020, the Government of India plans to increase the capacity of floating solar plants to 10 GW. As of July 31, 2019, about 2.72 GW was commissioned. Another 971 MW are at the competitive selection stage. In addition, projects of floating solar power plants with a total capacity of about 4255 MW were announced by various agencies, but tenders have not yet been announced.