India building 2,500-acre solar power farm to help reduce emissions
Renewable energy is central to India’s bid for future economic growth, say the owners of the Kamuthi solar plant.
The facility in Kamuthi, in the state of Tamil Nadu, opened in September, with a capacity of 648 megawatts, making it one of the world’s largest solar plants.
Built by Indian company Adani Power in just eight months, its 2,500 acre site is the equivalent of 60 Taj Mahals.
Vneet Jaain, Adani CEO, said: “Before us the largest solar power plant at a single location was in California in the U.S. That was of 550 MW and was completed in around three years.”
“We wanted to set up a solar plant of 648 MW solar plant in a single location in less than a year.”
Jaain said that the town of Kamuthi was a perfect location for solar power generation.
“For such a mega-sized solar power plant, we required a huge patch of land, also that had good solar radiation and a proximity to the port for logistics purposes. All this we found at Kamuthi in Tamil Nadu.”
WATCH: Vneet Jaain, the CEO of Adani Power, says new solar farm will be the largest of it’s kind in the world
By 2022, India aims to power 60 million homes by the sun, potentially making India a world leader in renewable energy generation, and Adani is confident it can play a major role.
“We plan to produce 11,000 MW of solar energy in the next five years, putting India on the global map of renewable energy,” said company chairman Guatam Adani.
The impressive feat of engineering took 8,500 builders, working in the face of large-scale floods and monsoons.
The plant includes 2.5 million individual solar modules, with the mega-structures costing approximately US$679 million.
The panels are cleaned daily by a robotic system, itself charged by its own solar panel.
According to technician Yoel Yoselevich: “The robotic cleaning system worked with using the gravity to take the dust off the panels. It also uses fine micro-fibres to wipe the dust away from the panels.”
The solar farm is part of the Indian government’s ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions by 33-35 percent and to produce 40 per cent of its power by non-fossil fuels by 2030.
Adani recently announced plans to build a 100-200 MW solar plant in central Queensland, Australia.
According to British daily newspaper The Guardian, environmental groups have praised the move, a contrast to legal challenges made to the company’s contentious $16.5 million plan to build the Carmichael coal mine plant in the north of the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, Australia.
© 2016 Reuters