Power minister Aryadan Mohammed inaugurated the state's first floating solar plant at Banasura Sagar reservoir in Wayanad on 21-01-2016.
The 10-kilowatt-capacity plant, spread over 1,200 sq ft has been installed on concrete floaters with hollow insides. The platform can carry 45 tonnes and the power generated will be fed to the KSEB grid through cables drawn through the reservoir bed. KSEB officials said that it is the first floating solar plant to be set up inside a reservoir in the country.
The innovative power generation system, set up at a cost of Rs 20 lakh, is the brainchild of two young entrepreneurs from Wayanad - Ajay Thomas and V M Sudhin. The duo's startup firm Vatsaa Energy Private Ltd has implemented the project with financial aid from KSEB under its Energy Open Innovations Zone.
Inaugurating the plant, Aryadan Mohammed said that KSEB was making a big push in the area of renewable energy. He added that the government has acquired 500 acres of land in Kasaragod to set up a 200 MW solar park. A further 1500 acres will be acquired for the project.
The KSEB also has plans to convert the largest earthen dam in the country to a hub of solar power generation with the launch of construction works for two other solar projects at the site.
The projects include a proposed 500-kW floating solar plant at the reservoir and a 400kW 'dam- top' solar power generation project. The former is a scaled-up version of the 10kW concrete floating plant. The Rs 9.25-crore project will be spread over the water surface of the reservoir across 1.25 acres.
The minister will also inaugurate the works of the 400-kW dam-top solar project by installing solar panel canopy over the walkway atop the dam at a cost of Rs 4.6 crore. Another hydel tourism development project is being envisaged near the dam premises.
Ajay Thomas, who had developed the indigenous technology for the floating plant, said the device has around 20% higher efficiency compared to ground-mounted units as the cooling effect of water helps in keeping the temperature of the solar panels low, thus boosting output.
"The low dust environment in the reservoir also aids in enhanced performance of the photo-voltaic panels. Water bodies in the state, including those in large hydroelectric projects, can be used for large-scale solar power generation through floating plants," he said.
KSEB chief engineer (renewable energy and energy savings), Suku R, said the floating solar plant was designed for dam reservoirs in the state, also taking into consideration the seasonal water level variations, heavy rain and winds.
M V Shreyams Kumar MLA presided over the function. KSEB chairman and managing director M Sivasankar, academician RVG Menon among other spoke.