NETRA (NTPC Energy Technology Research Alliance), the R&D branch of NTPC, installed and developed the largest floating solar plant India has seen to date in collaboration with Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET) and Swelect Energy Systems Ltd. The project began operation mid-March at Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Plant (RGCCPP) Kayamkulam, Kerala. The 100 kWp (kilowatt peak) floating solar photovoltaic plant has been indigenously developed as a part of the government’s Make in India initiative.
Solar panels mounted on floating boards that hold them in place has been found to be more efficient than the ones installed on land. According to NTPC, such systems are fast emerging as an alternative to conventional ground mounted photovoltaic systems, which are land intensive. It has various benefits like conserving water through reduction of evaporation, increased generation due to cooling effect on the panels, and requires lesser installation time than conventional land mounted ones.
These solar panels could be installed on saline water bodies too. Installation potential of such type of systems in India is huge because of abundance of water bodies; within NTPC, the potential is approximately 800 MW in various reservoirs of existing stations.
Keywords: Solar Plant, Floating Solar Photovoltaic Plant, Solar Panels, Photovoltaic Systems, ARC Advisory Group.