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Floating Solar Costs Fall in India

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Floating Solar power projects have been witnessing a decline in the investment cost. India achieved the lowest investment cost globally, of as low as Rs. 35/ watt for a floating solar project, with 70MW capacity. Major reasons for the fall in cost were reducing costs of floaters and materials, improvement in manufacturing processes, reduction in thickness of floaters, and aggressive bidding in the country.

NHPC, a leading public sector company in India aspires to become the largest floating solar company. It has collaborated with Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) to construct 1,800 MW of floating solar projects, spread over many reservoirs. This is touted to become the world’s largest floating solar capacity after China’s 120 MW floating solar plant in Anhui. However, NHPC won’t be constructing a single floating solar plant but multiple plants at various locations across the country. The enterprise was expected to start work this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic dampened its spirit. However, NHPC had rolled out an EPC tender for a 50-MW floating solar power project in Kerala in June 2020.


Other than NHPC, NTPC, Tata Power Solar are other large entities exploring floating solar projects in India. One of NTPC’s solar floating platform was developed by NETRA (NTPC Energy Technology Research Alliance), the R&D arm of NTPC Ltd, in collaboration with the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Chennai. Tata Power Solar won another of NTPC’s solar projects to develop a 105 MW floating solar power project in Kerala in the last year. The advantages of floating solar are many when compared to utility-scale or rooftop solar. Given its credential to be built on water bodies and not requiring land makes it more lucrative in India. Other than that, water bodies cool down the temperature of the solar plant and thus avoids the panels to be heated up. India has ambitious plans for floating solar plants. The country is targeting at least 10,000 MW of floating solar projects. India has over 5,000 dams and there are large free reservoir areas for putting up floating solar plants. It is estimated that there is 18,000 sq km of the reservoir area, on which ~2.8 lakh MW of potential solar plants can be built. Currently, there is more than 1,700 MW worth of floating solar projects which are under various stages of development.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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