Indian officials have recently released photos and updates declaring the completion of what is now the world’s largest solar power plant. The project replaces the former global frontrunner, California’s 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm.
Built in a mere 8 months, the 10 sq km array located in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu boasts 648 MW of solar power capacity— or enough to power about 150,000 households. The system features 2.5 million individual solar modules, and a robotic cleaning system powered by its own solar energy to wipe the panels clean daily. This project reenforces India’s position as a formidable player in the solar power sphere, and it is projected that the county will soon become the world’s third largest solar market.
Though it has historically been heavily dependent on coal, India’s efforts are markedly visible. Just a stone’s throw from the Kamuthi array is the 1,500 MW Muppandal project, one of the largest onshore wind farms in the world. Additional solar projects exceeding 600 MW are under construction along the nation’s east coast and state of Karnataka.
Yet the goals remain lofty, as the government aims for ambitious expansions of renewable energy. By 2022, the nation hopes to create enough solar capacity to provide for the demands of 60 million homes, or about 100 GW; relative to the current global generation of clean power (223 GW), the pledge is awe-inspiring. The aforementioned plan is part of an even larger goal to source 40% of its power from renewable sources by 2030. In the same year, India hopes to also be a 100% electric vehicle nation.
Though the transition to a cleaner means of power-generation is bound to take decades, India seems committed to the cause— not only was $679 million committed to the construction of the solar array, but additional funds and financing systems have been developed to continue India’s surge forward.