Shapoorji Pallonji Bags Country’s First Large Scale Floating Solar Project


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India’s first large-scale floating solar project is on its way with Shapoorji Pallonji winning the first block in Solar Energy Corporation of India’s auction of 150 MW of such projects on the Rihand Dam, along the Uttar Pradesh-Madhya Pradesh border. Shapoorji Pallonji won the reverse auction for 50 MW quoting a tariff of `3.29 per unit, officials said. “This is the country’s first floating solar project at such a scale,” said a Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) official.

The remaining 100 MW will also be shortly auctioned in blocks of 50 MW, the official said. “We had considered bringing out such a tender two years earlier, but our initial inquiries showed tariffs would have been in the range of `7-8 per unit, and so we decided not to go ahead,” the official said. Since then, solar tariffs have fallen dramatically, with those of ground mounted projects dropping to `2.50-3.50 per unit. In UP, where solar radiation is not as strong as in states like Rajasthan, the average tariff has been more than `3 per unit. Rihand Dam, also known as Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar, is the country’s largest reservoir by volume and largest artificial lake, located on the Rihand River with its catchment area spread over Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. A problem several solar developers face is that of connectivity and transmission of the power they produce as mostly solar projects come up in rural areas because they need vast amounts of land, around six acres per MW.