600MW floating solar project to start operation by 2023

Out-Law News | 08 Jan 2021 | 6:17 am | 1 min. read

A 600 megawatt (MW) floating solar project will start operating in 2022 or 2023 in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, its government has said.

It is reported that the project will be the world’s biggest floating solar energy project. It will be built at Omkareshwar dam on Narmada river in Khandwa district at an estimated cost of INR30 billion ($409.8m).

A report said that electricity will be produced by installing solar panes in a 2,000 hectares area of water.

Hardeep Singh Dang, minister at the Madhya Pradesh Department of New and Renewable Energy, said the project’s initial feasibility research was completed in collaboration with the World Bank. The work on the project’s transmission line route survey will start in January.

The International Finance Corporation, World Bank and Power Grid have agreed in principle to support the project development. The Madhya Pradesh power management company has signed an agreement to buy 400MW power from the project.

Infrastructure expert John Yeap at Pinsent Masons, the firm behind Out-Law, said: “Over the past few years, we have seen significant increase in floating PVs on reservoirs and ponds. Apart from increasing renewable power generation without taking up additional valuable land, floating PVs have the potential to reduce water evaporation as well as aid in the management of algae in the reservoirs. There are therefore benefits to FPVs which however have to be balanced with the potential visual, recreational as well as ecological impacts.”

“Furthermore, there are additional costs involved in FPVs given the floating structure. All these considerations will therefore have to be taken into account when considering FPVs,” he said.

The Indian government announced its renewable energy target '175GW solar by 2022' in 2015. India increased this target to 450GW at the Climate Action Summit in September 2019.