Tata Power Solar commissions India’s ‘largest’ floating PV project

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The project is anchored to the waterbed using 134 pile foundations. Image: Tata Power Solar.

Tata Power Solar Systems said it has commissioned India’s largest floating PV plant, a 101.6MWp project in the southern state of Kerala.

Deployed on 350 acres of backwaters, the project features a 5MW floating inverter platform and is anchored to the waterbed using 134 pile foundations bored to a depth of 20 meters.

Tata Power Solar Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of utility Tata Power, said it faced variable water depths, high sea tides and water salinity concerns during the project’s construction.

With a team of 350 people working on construction, the company built a scaffolding platform on the water body, while the array was towed into place over 3km, exposing the solar modules to high winds.

A power purchase agreement is already in place, with all power generation from the plant to be used by the Kerala State Electricity Board.

The project is also one of the first by Tata Power Solar to be monitored by round-the-clock video surveillance for security and malfunction detections.

“This project reinforces Tata Power Solar’s commitment to leading India’s transition towards a greener future,” said Ashish Khanna, president at Tata Power Renewables.

Asia is set to lead in the deployment of floating solar projects globally, according to consultancy Fitch Solutions, which said in a report published in March that markets with access to hydropower will turn to floating PV as a means to balance out a lack of hydropower during dry seasons.

India’s state-owned National Hydroelectric Power Corporation has formed a joint venture with the Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha for the development of 500MW of floating solar projects in the eastern state of Odisha.  

The Kerala project’s commissioning comes after another Tata Power subsidiary, Tata Power Renewables Energy, recently completed a 300MW solar project in Gujarat, India which it claimed is India’s largest single-axis solar tracker system.

Tata Power Solar has since secured a 1GW EPC order for a ground-mount solar project in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

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