Solar Energy Corporation of India Plans to Set Up More Solar Plants

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The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) plans to become a renewable energy developer itself. After setting up a solar project in Rajasthan, it will soon embark on two projects: a 300-MW hybrid project comprising both solar and wind energy in Andhra Pradesh and floating solar plants across Kerala (10 MW), Andhra Pradesh (10 MW), and Lakshadweep Islands (5 MW). In hybrid projects, solar panels are mounted in the space between wind turbines; while in floating projects, solar plants are set up on lakes or tanks. India’s first floating plant, a pilot effort of 10 kW (0.01 MW) built by Arka-Ignou Community College of Renewable Energy, has already been commissioned at Rajarhat New Town near Kolkata. Another 100 kW plant is being built on Loktak Lake in Manipur. “Floating solar plants are a somewhat fanciful idea in the Indian context,” said Vinay Rustagi, Managing Director of solar consulting firm Bridge to India. “They are very costly with capex up to 2–3 times the normal solar projects and debatable benefits. Operational challenges are also a big issue and so far, we simply do not have enough supporting evidence to make a strong business case for floating solar plants.”


Categories: Solar