India is now home to the world’s largest solar power plant with the launch of its 648-megawatt (MW) facility at Kamuthi in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
Funded by Adani Green Energy, a part of India’s leading business house Adani Group, the solar power plant in Kamuthi entailed an investment of Rs4,550 crore ($679 million), reported the International Business Times.
The mammoth plant comprises 2.5 million individual solar modules and covers an area of 10 sq km.
Built in an impressive time frame of eight months, the plant is cleaned every day by a robotic system and charged with its own solar panels. It is expected to power 150,000 homes.
The area it covers has allowed it to surpass the Topaz Solar Farm in California – which has a capacity of 550 MW – taking the title of the world’s largest solar power plant at a single location, stated the report.
A year after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi championed the International Solar Alliance at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, the country is making clear moves to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, according to Indian news agency Press Trust of India.
Prior to the inauguration of the latest plant, India already made it to the list of a handful of countries across the world that generate more than 10 gigawatts of solar power, according to Indian renewable energy consultancy Bridge to India.
“This is a momentous occasion for Tamil Nadu as well as for the entire country. We are… happy to dedicate this plant to the nation. A plant of this magnitude reinstates the country’s ambitions of becoming one of the leading green energy producers in the world,” said Gautam Adani, the chairman of the Adani Group, was qouted as saying in the Press Trust of India.
India is expected to become the world’s third-biggest solar market — after China and the United States — from next year and the new plant has pushed its total installed solar capacity to cross the 10 GW mark, a feat that only a few countries can claim, Al Jazeera reported, citing a statement by research firm Bridge to India.
By 2022, India is aiming at powering 60 million homes through solar energy as a part of the government’s 2030 goal to produce 40 per cent of its power from non-fossil fuels.
While the efforts are being lauded by environmental groups, the country still needs to increase the emphasis on solar panels to be able to achieve the big targets set by the government.