The solar industry has been thinking outside the box for a long time, which is helping it expand into new markets and showcase the great possibilities of solar technology. Recently, the viability of floating solar parks has begun to be explored and this is continuing into India, where German-based KfW Development Bank is funding two floating solar projects as part of a study by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
The floating arrays will be realized on bodies of water in Meharashtra and Kerla, with an estimated investment of Rs 300 crore (USD44 million). Although details about the two projects are scarce, it is believed that the two projects will have a combined capacity of at least 40 MW.
The KfW-funded floating solar park would be a showcase project that would demonstrate the technical viability of large scale projects, commented a senior MNRE official. To begin with, at least 40 MW of floating solar capacity would be set up.
The study that was set up by MNRE will be undertaken by the National Institute of Solar Energy and the Renewable Energy College, to try and assess what the potential is for floating solar parks within India.
This project is part of a large-scale solar German-Indian solar partnership that was announced by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) last year. Within the partnership, KfW will issue low-interest loans with a total volume of about EUR 1 billion.