“Recent bids results indicate a sharp decline in the investment cost for FSPV. In the latest tender result of the country’s first large-scale FSPV plant of 70 megawatt capacity, cost as low as Rs 35 per Watt has been quoted by developers. This is the lowest cost achieved in the entire world so far,” the report by The Energy and Resources Institute said.
Titled ‘Floating Solar Photovoltaic (FSPV): A Third Pillar to Solar PV Sector?’ the study also says the investment cost had decreased in the past two years, with a significant drop of 45 per cent in cost seen considering 2018.
“A country like India has already started getting the lowest cost in the world and one can expect it to go down further, as more projects are about to come in the near future,” it added.
The report said that even though the costs have decreased, it is still very early to come to any generalization, since the FSPV as a technology is still in its early stage of market penetration.
Major reasons for reduction in costs were a decline in the cost of floaters because of improvement in manufacturing process, reduction in the material cost, reduction in thickness of floaters, and aggressive biddings by project developers to get some experience in FSPV sector.
It added that though falling cost is a good indication it was important to check whether this is not impacting the overall quality of the projects, since degradation in the quality of FSPV projects has higher potential to impact local biodiversity compared to ground-mounted solar PV.
India’s floating solar sector is slowly advancing with an increase in the number of tenders that were released in the past two years.
At present, there are more than 1,700 MW worth of FSPV projects which are under various stages of development and more are in the pipeline.