Taking a step towards a sustainable future, a 25-MW floating solar power plant is all set to come up at the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Simhadri in Vizag. Touted as the largest floating solar power project in Andhra Pradesh, the officials at the NTPC are making arrangements to commission the plant by the end of this fiscal year.
With a budget of Rs 110 crore, the floating solar panels are being installed, covering about 150 acres of the water surface, over the Raw Water Reservoir of the NTPC Vizag. The reservoir reportedly draws water from Yeleru Canal. The project which was proposed in 2019, has been assigned to the state-owned engineering firm, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). Though the engineering works of the solar plant in Vizag were supposed to be completed within 15 months, the Bhoomi pooja (laying foundation stone) ceremony was held recently in 2020, due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Following the unlock guidelines, the installation activities have picked up the pace.
Power evacuation from this plant will be sent to the main plant through a 33kv transmission network. The NTPC is planning to complete the project within a timeframe of two months. Once commissioned, the power plant will be capable of supplying 25 MW per hour in proper sunlight. With the magnitude of resources and expertise investment, the authorities at NTPC Simhadri claim that the resultant structure shall be one of the largest floating solar power plants in the country.
It may be recalled that the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) had earlier set up a solar power plant at the Mudasarlova reservoir, which became functional two years ago. Taken up as a part of the Smart City initiative, the floating solar power plant was built over 20 acres, with an investment of around Rs 11.36 crore. Equipped with a capability to generate about 2MW of power, the solar plant in Vizag was also featured by the world-renowned news channel, National Geographic, on the occasion of the Indian Independence Day in 2020.