In a remarkable stride towards sustainability, India has successfully commissioned its largest floating solar power project. The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) recently declared the commercial operation of the final 20 MW capacity segment of the 100 MW Ramagundam Floating Solar PV Project in Telangana. As of July 1, 2022, this massive project is now fully operational, marking a significant achievement in India’s renewable energy landscape.

With this addition, the total commercial operation capacity of floating solar projects in the Southern Region has surged to an impressive 217 MW. Previously, NTPC had declared the commercial operation of a 92 MW Floating Solar project in Kayamkulam, Kerala, and a 25 MW project in Simhadri, Andhra Pradesh.

The Ramagundam project, spanning an expansive 500 acres of reservoir space, is a testament to cutting-edge technology and eco-friendliness. Constructed at a cost of Rs. 423 crores through M/s BHEL as an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract, the project comprises 40 blocks, each with a capacity of 2.5 MW. Each block is equipped with a floating platform supporting an array of 11,200 solar modules. These modules are ingeniously placed on floaters made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) material.

What sets this project apart is its innovative anchoring system. Special High Modulus Polyethylene (HMPE) ropes secure the entire floating system to dead weights positioned in the reservoir bed. Power generated is efficiently evacuated through 33KV underground cables to the existing switchyard. Moreover, all electrical equipment, including inverters, transformers, HT panels, and the SCADA system, are ingeniously placed on floating ferro-cement platforms. The anchoring system
employs bottom anchoring through heavy concrete blocks.

From an environmental perspective, this project brings multiple advantages. It significantly reduces land requirements for associated evacuation infrastructure. Additionally, the presence of floating solar panels reduces water evaporation rates from the reservoir, promoting water conservation. This initiative is estimated to save approximately 32.5 lakh cubic meters of water annually. The water beneath the solar modules helps maintain their temperature, thereby enhancing their efficiency and power generation. Furthermore, the project contributes to reducing carbon emissions by avoiding the consumption of 1,65,000 tons of coal annually and mitigating 2,10,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

The commissioning of the Ramagundam Floating Solar PV Project signifies India’s commitment to sustainable energy solutions and its relentless pursuit of a greener future. It stands as a remarkable example of technological innovation and environmental responsibility in the renewable energy sector.

[Source:  Press Information Bureau] (https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1838489).