At 11.5 MW, India has just inaugurated the world's single largest rooftop solar system


India has inaugurated what is believed to be, at 11.5 MW, the largest single rooftop solar PV installation in the world.

Installed atop the Dera Baba Jaimal Singh campus – a spiritual and learning organization often referred to as RSSB (Rahda Soami Satsang Beas) – the entire array has a capacity of 19.5 MW, with 8 MW of PV spread across the remaining buildings on site.

However, the chief portion of the installation sits as one single array across 42 acres of rooftop on the main campus. At 11.5 MW, it is larger than the 6.4 MW solar installation at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center in Las Vegas, U.S.

Indian energy conglomerate Tata Power Solar commissioned the installation near Amristar, and worked alongside EPC Larsen and Toubro to finalize the array. The Punjab government was instrumental in backing the installation as part of its own solar rooftop scheme, which forms part of its 1 GW installation goal by the end of fiscal year 2016-17.

Currently, Punjab has around 470 MW of completed solar PV capacity, with a further 500 MW in the pipeline. Overall, some 1,550 MW of solar is at various stages of completion, planning or development in the state. Speaking at the rooftop’s inauguration, Punjab minister for new and renewable energy resources Bikram Singh Majithia said that the installation could meet the power needs of 8,000 local households annually.

The minister also stressed that Punjab was making good progress on its solar development goals, and was eyeing a 2022 installation target of 2,552 MW of renewable energy capacity by that date, with solar playing a dominant role in the transition.

Earlier this week, the World Bank released funding amounting to $750 million to support India’s rooftop solar PV sector, which many in the industry believe holds the key to further unlocking the country’s vast PV potential, which has so far been largely dominated by ground-mounted installations.