India’s largest integrated energy company, NTPC, has commissioned its largest floating solar PV project on the reservoir of its Simhadri thermal power station in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
This is the country’s first solar PV project to be set up under the Flexibilisation Scheme, created by the Government of India in 2018 to make it easier for power stations to be more flexible in the energy sources they draw on.
The floating solar PV plant in India was inaugurated on 21 August. It has a unique anchoring design spread over 75 acres in the power station’s water reservoir. The renewable energy has the potential to generate electricity from more than 100,000 solar PV modules.
The floating solar PV plant should light around 7,000 households and ensure at least 46,000 tons of CO2 are mitigated every year during the lifespan of the project. It will also save 1,364 million litres of water every year. This is the equivalent of the annual water requirements of 6,700 households.
The 2,000MW coal-based Simhadri Power Station is the country’s first power project to implement an open sea intake from the Bay of Bengal to cool its four operating units. It uses fresh water sourced from the Yeluru Canal to create the steam that drives the turbines, as the seawater salinity makes it unsuitable as a working fluid. The power station has been operational for more than 20 years.
NTPC currently manages a total installed capacity of 66,900MW across 71 power stations, with 29 of those including renewable energy. It has set a target of installing 60GW of renewable energy capacity by 2032. It currently has more than 17GW of capacity under construction, 5GW of that through renewable energy projects.