As the Adani group marches towards its ambition of installing 45 GW of renewable energy by 2030, its officials thank their most prominent  teacher – the Kamuthi solar plant.  

The 648 MW plant spread over 2,500 acres of arid land in southern Tamil Nadu is the group’s first large-scale plant and the world’s biggest solar plant in one location, owned by one entity. 

Kamuthi is not only generating electricity (which, by the way, has touched 9 billion kWhr since the plant’s inception in 2016) but also a lot of learnings. The solar plant was built as much for a generation as for experimenting with different technologies; the ₹4,550 crore of investments earned more than profits. 

Renewable energy technologies

Kamuthi’s station head, R Aravamudhan, recently described the bouquet of technologies the plant features to a group of visiting journalists.  

It has 1.25 MW of bifacial modules—back in 2015, bifacials were hardly known, but Adani still decided to try out the novelty.  

12 MW of the capacity is with thin film modules. 

6 MW of capacity sits on seasonal tilt. Four times a year, the officials spend a week changing the direction the modules face so they catch sunlight better. 

10 MW of capacity sits on trackers – they track the sun daily as the sun scurries from East to West. Furthermore, this 10 MW of capacity is on trackers of seven different makes—a veritable test bed to check out which works best. 

Add to this mix 576 inverters and 154 transformers, drones for thermal imaging (to detect damage not visible otherwise) and equipment for dust detection—data generated from the plant (not shared with journalists) is a lot of grist to crunch.  

The Kamuthi solar plant was built with a whopping 2.5 million modules from nine manufacturers. 

Adani group officials have told businessline that the data generated by the Kamuthi plant is being put to good use for other installations, though no further details are available.  

Recently, Adani Green Energy Ltd announced it had operationalised a 551 MW solar plant in Khavda, Gujarat. It is understood that many of the learnings from Kamuthi have been incorporated in the Khavda plant, which in turn is believed to be “a scalable blueprint for giga-scale RE parks across the globe.” The Khavda plant features bifacial modules and single-axis trackers. 

Adani Green Energy Ltd today has 9 GW of operating renewable energy portfolio and a “locked-in growth trajectory up to 20.8 gigawatt (GW).” In April – December 2023, the company reported revenue earnings of ₹5,794 crore, on which it made a cash profit of ₹2,944 crore. 

On the BSE on Friday, the Adani Green Energy share closed at ₹1,906.05.