Will Tamil Nadu, India Be 2017’s Biggest Solar Power Destination?
Solar power is considered one of the best energy generators for tropical countries since all it needs is steady and strong exposure to sunlight to produce electricity. People who have heard of the southern state of India, Tamil Nadu, would have never imagined the place being the site for a massive new solar power plant. New pictures have been released depicting the massive facility in Kamuthi, a city in Tamil Nadu, which has the capacity to generate 648 MW power and is spread over an area of 10 square kilometers. This makes the new solar plant the largest within a single location, confiscating the title from the former champion in California, Topaz Solar Farm, which generates 550 MW.
As the utilization of solar power rises, India is likely to become the third-biggest solar market in the world from next year, the first and second being China and the US respectively. The solar power plant was built in eight months, subsidized by the Adani Group and is cleaned daily using a solar powered robotic system rather than humans. The project is comprised of 2.5 million individual solar modules, and cost $679m to build. When it is working at full capacity, the plant is estimated to generate enough electricity to power nearly 150,000 households.
Though the solar power industry is quickly gaining popularity in India, the country will still need to boost its use of solar panels. The government of India hopes that by 2022, the country will be able to power at least 60 million homes using the sun as part of its goal to generate 40 percent of its electricity from sources other than fossil fuels by 2030. While this aim may seem highly ambitious, environmental groups are praising it. There is also hope that this plan will help reduce the air quality problem it is currently experiencing, with the nation’s capital experiencing the worst levels of pollution it has seen in the past 17 years.