Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday virtually dedicated to the nation the 92-MW floating solar power project set up at the National Thermal Power Corporation's (NTPC) Kayamkulam unit.
Mr. Modi launched the project while participating in the Grand Finale marking the culmination of ‘Ujjwal Bharat Ujjwal Bhavishya – Power @2047’, a programme organised to showcase the achievements in the power sector in the last eight years as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
Speaking at the function, Mr. Modi said India had resolved to create 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by the completion of 75 years of independence. "Today, we have come close to the goal. So far, about 170 GW capacity has been installed from non-fossil sources," the Prime Minister said, adding that India is among the top four-five countries in terms of installed solar capacity.
The Kayamkulam plant is the second-largest floating solar power project of the NTPC after the 100-MW plant at Ramagundam in Telangana. "Today, many of the world's largest solar power plants are in India. The country has got two more big solar plants. These plants built in Telangana and Kerala are the first and second largest floating solar plants in the country," said Mr. Modi.
The Prime Minister said that along with increasing the production of electricity, the emphasis of the government was on saving energy. “Saving electricity means enriching the future. PM Kusum Yojana is a great example of this. We are providing solar pump facility to farmers and helping to install solar panels on the side of fields,” he said.
The floating solar system was built on a 450-acre lake area adjacent to the NTPC’s Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Project (RGCCPP). Officials said the power generated from the plant could light up around 26,000 households every day. The project could help reduce carbon emissions by 1.73 lakh tonnes every year. Implemented at a cost of ₹465 crores, the project consists of around three lakh Made in India solar PV panels floating on water.
The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) had stopped drawing power from the 359-MW naphtha-fuelled RGCCPP since 2017 due to the cost. It led the NTPC to shift its focus to solar energy. Earlier, the KSEB signed an agreement with the NTPC for purchasing power from the floating solar station at ₹3.16 per kWh.
The NTPC is in possession of around 1,000 acres of land, which includes waterbodies suitable for setting up floating solar projects. In recent years, it commissioned a few small solar projects at the Kayamkulam site.
A.M. Ariff, MP, Chingoli grama panchayat president G. Sajini, NTPC general manager S.K. Ram and others attended the function held at NTPC-Kayamkulam.