Avaada Power is in talks with various states governments to set up floating solar projects and expects some large tenders to be floated in the next two months, a top company official said.
The company plans to increase its installed solar capacity to 5,000 megawatts (mw) in the next four years, from 1,000 mw at present, and expects a significant share to come from the floating solar power segment.
Avaada group chairman Vineet Mittal while talking to here said the floating solar segment has a potential to generate 300 gigawatts (gw) of power across the country.
“We believe this is the next growth story in the solar space. We are in talks with various states and hope within the next two months some large tenders will be floated,” he said.
Currently, Kerala has the largest floating solar power plant in India with a capacity of 500 kilowatts (kw).
Mittal said that he is also hopeful of some policy framework to come up on feed in tariffs (FiT), which encourages floating solar projects.
According to media reports, states like Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and West Bengal are likely to float tenders for floating solar projects in the coming months.
Apart from that, the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) has announced its plans to set up 600 mw of floating solar capacity at the 1,960-mw Koyna hydel power project in Maharashtra.
It has also proposed to set up projects in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
According to Mittal, floating solar projects should be encouraged as land becomes a constraint while setting up ground-mounted solar capacities.
“We have so many dam reservoirs and ponds among others where such FSPs (floating solar projects) can be set up. It will also solve two problems – energy security and water security. Nearly 30 per cent water evaporation loss will go away and water quality will improve. Besides, setting up of FSPs can also boost tourism. So, it’s a win win situation and it is not that expensive,” he said.
Mittal further added that FSPs are more complex in nature and, therefore, they will need an initial support from the government as the solar sector needed initially.
“However, we have the technology and if the government introduces feed in tariff or guarantees viability gap funding, the projects will be more competitive and large capacities will be set up,” he said.
Avaada has embarked on a plan to invest Rs 25,000 crore to set up and own over 5,000 mw of capacity not just in India but across Asian and African countries.
Through its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) business, the company has also set up many solar and wind projects with a capacity of over 5,000 mw across 10 states in India.