India unveils largest floating solar plant to date


From pv magazine India

State-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today announced it has commissioned India’s largest floating solar plant. The 25 MW project, occupying a water surface area of 100 acres, is located at NTPC's Simhadri thermal power station in Andhra Pradesh.

Besides producing clean power, the project will also reduce water evaporation by shading the water. It will offer a higher energy yield than conventional, ground-mounted solar projects, due to the cooling effect of the water on the panels.

BHEL said it designed an innovative floating array to meet the unique requirement of anchoring the support structures without touching or loading either the reservoir floor or the retaining wall ‘bund.' The module array was designed—for the first time in India—to withstand gusts of wind of up to 180km/h. Corrosion-resistant platform structures and other equipment were used due to the coastal location of the project.

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Bharat's scope of work in the project included design as well as engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of the solar array. The project was executed by BHEL’s recently formed Solar Business division.

The installer offers EPC services for solar projects including ground-mounted, rooftop, floating, and canal top installations. The company said it has an Indian solar EPC portfolio of more than 1.2 GW and claims the nation’s largest portfolio of floating solar, with more than 45 MW commissioned and 107 MW or so under execution. BHEL also manufactures space-grade solar panels, and batteries for space applications.

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