India’s largest floating solar power plant of 100 MW capacity, belonging to the National Thermal Power Corporation, is expected to be commissioned at Ramagundam in May this year, NTPC southern region executive director CV Anand said on Wednesday.

Addressing a virtual press conference in Hyderabad, Anand said the floating solar photo-voltaic project would be spread over 450 acres on the water surface of the Sri Ram Sagar Project reservoir. This will be the largest floating solar plant in the country in a single location as of now. The total cost of the project would be ₹423 crores, including GST, he said.

“NTPC is utilizing the water bodies and huge reservoirs to set up these floating solar units because it requires huge expenditure for the ground-mounted plant. For setting up one MW solar photovoltaic plant on the ground, we require five acres,” he said.

The NTPC has successfully completed pilot projects at Kayamkulam (100 KWH) capacity and Kawas (1 MW). “Now, we are implementing large floating solar plants,” the executive director said.

The NTPC southern region has taken up setting up solar power plants with a total capacity of 450 MW. Of this, 217 MW plants would be floating on water bodies. Apart from the 100 MW plant at Ramagundam, the corporation is setting up 92 MW floating units at Kayamkulam gas plant in Kerala and a 25 MW unit at Simhadri power plant in Visakhapatnam.

“We are actually slightly delayed in implementing these floating solar projects due to the Coronavirus pandemic,” Anand said.

Regarding other solar power projects of the NTPC southern region, he said a 5 MW solar plant was set up at Port Blair Solar in Andaman & Nicobar Islands on March 30, 2012, that catered to the power needs of the Union territory; a 10 MW solar plant was commissioned at Ramagundam December 31, 2013, and the phase I- of the 250 MW (5X50 MW) Ultra Mega solar project was commissioned at NP Kunta village of Anantapur district in Andhra.

In addition, the NTPC is setting up a 230 MW ground-mounted solar power plant in Ettayapuram near Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu by next year. On average, the cost of setting up a solar plant is around ₹4 crore per MW, he said.

Explaining about other ventures of the NTPC southern region, the executive director said it was in the process of commissioning a 2×800 MW coal-fired thermal power project at Ramgundam in Telangana. The phase I unit of 800 MW will be commissioned by January 2022 and phase II of 800 MW by March 2022.

Source: Hindustan Times