Covering 10% of the world’s hydropower reservoirs with ‘floatovoltaics’ would install electrical capacity equivalent to that provided by all electricity-generating fossil fuel plants in operation worldwide.

 

About ‘floatovoltaics’

  • Floatovoltaics, floating solar plants, or FSPV (floating solar photovoltaic) are panel structures that are installed on water bodies like lakes, basins, and reservoirs instead of on solid structures like a roof or terraces.
  • The biggest impetus behind the rise of large-scale FSPV has been that it doesn’t take up any land space, which could be then used for construction and agriculture.
  • The world’s first large-scale FSPV system was installed in 2011, in Napa Valley, California.

 

Floatovoltaics in India

  • In recent years, floating solar power plants have become part of India’s plans of solar expansion.
  • According to a 2020 study by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) reservoirs cover 18000 square Kilometer in India and can generate 280 GW through floating solar panels.
  • Currently less than 1% of solar installations are floating.
  • The largest floating solar power plant in India is currently the Ramagundam in Peddapalli district of Telangana, with a capacity of 100 MW.
  • Currently a plant is being built on the Narmada’ Omkareshwar Dam in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh is being built with a capacity of 600 MW, which will soon be the largest floating solar power plant in the world.
  • The project is touted to be worth Rs 3000 crore.

 

What are the benefits of floating solar panels?

  • the water’s cooling effect makes them more efficient than land-based ones;
  • they don’t interfere with desert ecosystems; and
  • they keep precious water from evaporating.
  • Even though reservoirs are artificial ecosystems, they provide habitats for wildlife.