India unveils the world’s largest solar power plant
The world’s largest solar plant is in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, India. With a capacity of 648 megawatts, the plant nabs the record from the previous title holder, the Topaz Solar Farm in California, which is capable of producing 550 megawatts. The first glimpse of the staggering project reveals that the record-breaking plant will have 2.5 million solar panels covering an area of 10.36 square kilometers. The project cost $679 million to build and is capable of powering an equivalent of 150,000 homes.
What’s even more remarkable is that the entire project took only 8 months to complete. Each of the panels are cleaned daily by a team of robots that are completely powered by the renewable solar energy the plant itself generates. With a potentially unlimited supply of renewable energy — and robots to do its bidding — the plant is almost entirely self-sustaining.
Positioning itself with India’s goal of becoming the third largest solar market globally, the endeavour has reportedly pushed India’s total solar capacity past the 10 GW mark, according to Bridge to India, a consultancy firm that specialises in tracking the nation’s renewable energy sector.
“India is expected to become the world’s third biggest solar market from next year onwards after China and the US,” said a Bridge to India spokesperson. “India is expected to add new solar capacity of 5.1 GW this year, which is a growth of 137 per cent over last year,” they added.
Even though this is a great achievement, India still has a ways to go before reaching its vision of producing solar power for 60 million homes by 2022, and to generate 40 percent of the country’s energy through renewable sources by 2030.