Floating Solar Power Plant

12. Floating Solar Power Plant - Top 10 Solar Energy Startups in 2022_

Energy demand

Energy has been the core of everything since human evolution. At first, there was the wood & fire. Later it got evolved & fossil fuels took the place of wood. Currently, fossil fuels, also termed dirty fuels, have been the leading source of energy & economy. Fossil fuels command the energy to run almost everything we see around.

But there’s always an end to everything we have. Fossil fuels are assumed to be completely depleted in the next two to three decades. This has created a concern for many, as we are dependent on fossil fuels for every economic activity. Even electricity generation largely relies on coal. 

Electricity demand is growing at a rapid pace. India has become one of the major electricity producers & consumers after China & the USA. The current Indian government has a clear vision to make India self-reliant. Importing oil creates a loophole for the nation’s economic development. Hence, the GOI (Government of India) has a plan to make India the world’s largest green energy producer. 

Solar energy production 

We all know the sun shines the whole year, and converting it into electricity could solve our energy crisis. Solar Panels/Photovoltaic Cells (PV cells) are an emerging technology for renewable energy sources. As per the data, India has 50.78 GW of installed capacity of solar cells. 

Solar energy power generation is divided into two main parts: Large scale plants & Small scale plants. 

Large-scale power plants include Industrial & Commercial solar power plants. This installation is done by installing panels on the roof or setting up a power plant near the campus.

Solar parks are gaining popularity as it increases electricity generation. The Indian government has an ambitious target of installing 100GW solar energy generation to reduce dependence on coal & other resources. The project is massive and is estimated to need an investment of around US$ 100 billion. Solar parks have been installed PAN India, with the highest capacity of 2,245 MW at Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan. It is the world’s largest solar park containing 10 million solar panels spread across 14,00 acres of land. 

Small-scale power plants are installed in private houses or on rooftops. Installing PV cells on the rooftop practically increases the chances of generating more energy than installing panels on the ground. The government is providing subsidies for this installation. It helps reduce our energy dependency on grid supply. It even helps us earn money by generating excess energy that can be sold to our energy provider.

What are Floating Solar Power Plants?

Floating solar plants were innovated to counter the problem of land acquisition. Installing panels on water helps conserve water as well as provides a surface. Here, PV cells are installed on a platform specially designed and manufactured to support the weight of panels and other environmental effects. 

Why Floating solar power plants?

India has the second-largest population after china. Demographically, India’s land area stands at 7th position. Here, the majority of the population is engaged in farming. Acquiring land in such a complex environment gets tough for authorities. 

The idea to float a solar power park has an economic as well as ecological side. Constructing a floating power generation plant reduces the need to acquire a piece of land. Even water preservation can be achieved as it covers the water body by receiving direct sunlight. 

Current status 

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) commissioned India’s largest floating solar power plant with a capacity of 25 MW. The floating array developed by BHEL is innovative. The array can withstand gusts of wind up to 180km/hr. BHEL makes sure that offshore floating power plants have no issues due to the frame/array. 

There are several floating Solar PV projects lined up. The need for such innovative projects is huge as we are aiming to generate our electricity with clean technology. 

– Parag Ahire

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