Companies

Solar module maker Waaree ties up with US company for flotovoltaics

M Ramesh Chennai | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on September 16, 2016

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Waaree Energies Ltd, a solar module manufacturer, today announced a “strategic partnership” with California, US-based 4CSolar, for floating solar arrays. 4CSolar has developed technologies for installation of solar plants on lakes, dams, and near-shore seawater.

Waaree will make 4CSolar’s products available to the Indian market through its subsidiary, SunMount Engineering Pvt Ltd. “Floating solar” is a solution where solar modules are mounted on floating pontoons, which are either tethered to the shore or anchored to the bottom of water bodies. Such installations can minimise the use of precious agricultural land for solar power generation, and also curb evaporation losses from water reservoirs by as much as 70 per cent. “By being located close to their point-of-use these installations can power sustainable solutions such as lift-irrigation, or provide rural electricity with low T&D losses,” says a press release from Waaree.

Huge potential

India has a huge potential for floating solar plants or ‘flotovoltaics’. According to the National Register of Large Dams, India has 4,862 large dams, of which 59 are considered to be of ‘national importance’. These 59 dams alone have a total surface area as large as 22 Mumbai cities. As such, there is a huge scope for putting up flotovoltaics, attendant benefits of which are higher generation due to cooling of the panels, saving in land, and avoiding evaporation.

In January, Japan’s Kyocera began building the world’s largest floating solar system, a 13.2 MW plant, on the reservoir of the Yamakura dam with technical support from the French company, Ciel et Terra, the world’s leading floating solar company.

Read: It’s time for flotovoltaics

Published on September 16, 2016
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