Vikram Solar Pvt., an Indian panel maker, won a contract to build the South Asian nation’s first floating solar power plant on a lake in eastern India.
The 15-kilowatt pilot plant will be constructed by December on top of a 1,400-square-foot (130-square-meter) platform anchored to the lakebed next to Kolkata’s New Town Eco Park, said S.P. Gon Chaudhuri, a member of the governing body of the West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency.
“Acquiring land for solar projects is a very big problem now,” Chaudhuri said by phone. “Water bodies are available in plenty.”
The project will study whether situating a solar installation above water helps to boost generation by cooling the panels, he said. Excessive heat can reduce the efficiency of solar modules. The project will also examine the effects of corrosion and evaporation from the lake, he said.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is financing the project, which will cost about 2 million rupees ($32,700) to build and require another 2 million rupees for research, Chaudhuri said.
The 20,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity generated annually will be sold to the grid at 8.9 rupees a unit, he said.