Solar power in India contributes and represents a unique approach towards a sustainable future. Here are the largest solar plants in India, generating a huge amount of renewable energy without carbon emission or any environmental harm.
Bhadla Solar Park is the world’s largest solar power plant situated in Bhadla, Phalodi tehsil, Jodhpur district, Rajasthan, India. It covers an extensive area of 14,000 acres with average temperatures ranging between 46 and 48 degrees Celsius and a capacity of generating 2,245 MW power. This project has been completed in 4 phases, and now it is operated by Solar Energy Corporation in India (SECI). It’s a substantial investment in India as it comprises 10 million solar panels.
This solar park is located in Pavagada taluk, Tumkur district, Karnataka. This project has contributed a lot to greenhouse gas emissions by 69 million tonnes. It was completed in 2019 with the installation of solar panel systems powering 5 villages in the area. It covers 13000 acres of land with a capacity of 2,050 MW. It’s also the second-largest photovoltaic solar park in the world, which was developed by Karnataka Solar Power Development Corp. Ltd. (KSPDCL).
- Ananthapuramu Ultra Mega Solar Park
As more and more people install solar power and utilize it to generate green energy. It facilitates the generation of solar power at a large scale and tends to the development of solar power plants in the country. Ananthapuramu Ultra Mega Solar Park, or AUM Solar, is a ground-mounted solar project that boasts a $206.84 million project cost and comprises 848,680 solar modules. This project covers 1000 acres of land with the power to generate 446GWh of electricity. This solar park is managed and controlled by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
- Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park
Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park, situated in Panyam mandal, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh, spans 5,932.32 acres with a capacity of 1,000 MW. Constructed at an investment of ₹7,000 crore through collaboration between solar power developers and the Central and State governments, the park was commissioned on 29 March 2017. It is owned by Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation Private Limited (APSPCPL) and contributes significantly to the nation's renewable energy landscape.
- Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power Project
Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power Project is the largest project in India, spread over 1590 hectares of land. It’s a joint venture between the Madhya Pradesh state government and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). It was commissioned in 2020 with an investment of 4500 crore. It is situated in the Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh and boasts 750 MW of power.
There are many more solar plants in India, and a growing number of plants shows India’s dedication to a sustainable future and the potential of developing large-scale renewable energy. Additionally, these projects are creating many job opportunities and strengthening India’s economy.
Benefits of Large Solar Plants
Large solar plants offer several benefits, including:
- Clean and Renewable Energy
Large solar plants harness abundant sunlight to generate clean and renewable energy, significantly reducing reliance on finite fossil fuels and mitigating environmental impact.
Using solar power in India is the wise choice for the environment as, unlike traditional energy sources such as coal and oil, large solar plants don’t produce detrimental emissions. It reduces the generation of carbon emissions and combats climate change.
Countries can improve their energy independence by installing solar power plants utilizing abundant and locally available resources, such as solar energy. It reduces reliance on imported energy and fossil fuels and enhances a nation's energy security.
Unemployment is one of the major issues in India, and with the establishment of large solar plants, job opportunities can be boosted. The growth of the solar energy industry leads to many job creations, from technical staff to skilled professionals. It also increases economic growth and local development.
A solar panel system comprises versatile features and increases energy efficiency. It’s a one-time investment with a relatively low operating cost as it generates electricity from a free source, the Sun. Moreover, as the size of solar plants increases, the cost of energy per unit ultimately decreases.
Solar plants contribute to grid stability by providing a consistent and predictable energy output, helping balance the fluctuating nature of other renewable energy sources like wind power. In the process of solar power production, there’s no chance of energy loss, and it maintains optimal performance.
People are using solar power in India as it’s an ideal option and green energy. Apart from abundant power generation, large solar plants have a long operational lifespan. It typically exceeds 25 years, ensuring a stable and reliable energy source over an extended period with minimal maintenance requirements.
- Global Environmental Benefits
Countries focusing on a sustainable future are installing solar plants in large numbers. However, the widespread adoption of large solar plants globally helps mitigate climate change, preserve ecosystems, and reduce the overall ecological footprint, contributing to a healthier and more sustainable planet.
Challenges of Large Solar Plants
Although there are plenty of benefits to large solar plants, there are some challenges associated with the installation of solar panel systems.
- Intermittency and Variability
Large solar plants are subject to intermittent sunlight and weather variations, leading to fluctuations in energy production, necessitating effective energy storage solutions for consistent power supply. Furthermore, it is required to install solar power plants in non-shaded areas to obtain a continuous flow of electricity.
- Land and Space Requirements
Large solar power plants require a significant area of land, and it’s one of the main challenges. It also leads to potential conflicts over land use in densely populated regions. Additionally, it impacts the local ecosystem and wildlife.
Many areas are facing challenges related to water usage and contamination due to the development of large solar plants. Certain technology-oriented solar panel systems require water for cooling, raising concerns about water scarcity and environmental impact in arid regions.
- Integration into the Grid
For an efficient energy supply to the consumers, solar power plants need to be integrated with the grid infrastructure. It ensures reliable and constant delivery of electricity, and it’s a leading challenge. The integration process of the solar plant and grid is complex, so the solar plant must be able to manage fluctuations and grid stability during peak demand periods.
Extreme weather events, such as storms or hail, can cause damage to solar panels and infrastructure, leading to operational disruptions and increased maintenance costs for large solar plants. Moreover, it also requires a high upfront cost.
The development of solar plants in India continues to grow after a high demand for renewable energy like solar power. Solar power plants are actively useful in generating electricity from the sun's rays and potentially bestow green energy globally. However, they also possess many challenges that can be easily resolved with strategic planning and maximizing the benefits of large solar plants.