Kerala Electricity Minister M.M. Mani inaugurated India’s largest floating solar power plant at the Banasura Sagar dam in Wayanad, Kerala on Monday, 4 December.
The solar plant has been constructed using ferrocement technology and consists of 1938 solar panels with 260-watt capacity, a 500 KVA transformer, and 17 inverters.
Stretching over 6,000 square metres, the 500 kWp (kilowatt peak) solar plant is a mega project commissioned by KSEB on a measly budget of Rs 9.25 crore.
Work on the project had begun on March 2016. KSEB sources said that they were waiting for the availability of the Chief Minister to inaugurate the plant possibly by next month. Officials of Thiruvananthapuram-based Adtech Systems Ltd, which set up the plant, said that the plant would be able to generate 7.5 lakh units of power annually which will be fed to the KSEB grid using underwater cables.
“We have used high efficiency solar panels for the project as per KSEB stipulations. Also, we have set up a floating substation on the reservoir to convert the output into 11kV considering economic and safety aspects,” said Raveendran T Nair, vice-president (projects) of Adtech Systems Ltd.
He added that floating solar plants have higher efficiency compared to ground-mounted installations due to the moderating effect of water bodies on panel temperature. “Also, when compared to ground based units, the floating panels will accumulate lower concentration of dust.”
The 500kWp project is a scaled up version of the 10kW floating solar project which was commissioned in Banasura Sagar reservoir in January 2016. It is a major step in achieving the goal of affordable 24X7 power for all citizens of Kerala.
In March this year, the first floating solar power plant of India started functioning with a capacity of 100 kWp, which was indigenously developed as a part of ‘Make In India’ initiative at Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Plant (RGCCPP) in Kerala’s Kayamkulam district.