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First floating solar power station set for India

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy funding project to develop BRIC country’s first floating solar power station

floating solar station
The floating solar power station will be the first in India

Plans are underway to build India’s first floating solar power plant, it is emerged. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in India is funding a project to set up the BRIC country’s first floating solar power station in Kolkata, West Bengal.

The prototype of the floating solar power station is expected to generate 10KW of power and will occupy 100sqm, according to reports.

The solar news follows other developments in floating solar power over the last 12 months. This includes Norwegian risk management services firm DNV unveiling a “dynamic” floating offshore solar field concept in October 2012. Reports suggest similar pilot projects are also being developed in countries including France and Australia. Reservoirs and dams for hydroelectric power stations could also be used as locations for floating solar power generators in the future.

The floating solar plant in India will see solar panels fitted on to a raft-like platform. This will contain hollow plastic or tin drums, which will allow the solar panels to float on the water.

According to reports, S.P. Gon Chaudhuri, a solar energy expert and the initiator of the project, said developing a floating solar power station in India would prove to be “revolutionary” as it could solve the perennial problem of land. He said studies have also shown floating solar plants can have power benefits over solar farms built on land. For instance, if the rear surface of a solar panel is cool, then its ability to generate power increases by 16 per cent. Solar panels floating on water stay cool and can therefore generate more power than those set up on land, he said.

The Indian floating solar power station is expected to be set up in Kolkata’s memorial building, the Victoria Memorial Hall’s pond. The project is expected to be commissioned in 2014.