After solar parks developed over vast tracts of land, the next big thing in renewable energy could be solar parks floating on water bodies.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has initiated a study to assess the potential of floating solar parks in India. It has roped in Germany-based KfW Development Bank to build two large floating solar projects in Maharashtra and Kerala at an initial investment of about Rs 300 crore. The solar panels will be set up on floating platforms anchored firmly so that they do not drift. The main saving is on the land price and yield. The surface of the water body can be rented out at a minimal rate because they can be put to no other use. “The KfW-funded floating solar park would be a showcase project that would demonstrate the technical viability of large solar projects. To begin with, at least 40 MW of floating solar capacity would be set up,” said a senior MNRE official.