Visakhapatnam: India’s largest floating solar PV project commercial operations at its Simhadri thermal station in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh by state-run electricity producer NTPC Limited. The plant currently is the largest in India with an operational capacity of a total of 15MW. In July 2021, NTPC commissioned the initial 10MW. Recently, the rest of 15 MW was also open. Thereby, the floating solar PV project at NTPC Simhadri was declared for commercial operation w.e.f. 10:00 AM of August 21, 2021.

The plant consists of over 1 lakh solar PV modules spanning 75 acres of Simhadri reservoir’s area. This plant is part of converting the Simhadri thermal power plant to 100% green by 2032.

This is a viable alternative to land-based solar arrays with applications in India considering how much land solar arrays take up and India being a densely populated country is facing the problem of. Balancing high population density and competing uses for available land. The land can be used for other purposes, such as farming or construction.

Along with that, the bodies of water exert a cooling effect, which improves the performance of solar photovoltaic panels by 5-10% translating into significant cost savings.

Along with this it reduces grid interconnection costs, reduced water evaporation, improved water quality, and reduced algal blooming in the reservoir.