India unveils the world's largest solar power plant

The country is on schedule to be the world’s third biggest solar market next year.

    Images have been released showing the sheer size of a new solar power plant in southern India.

    The facility in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, has a capacity of 648 MW and covers an area of 10 sq km.

    This makes it the largest solar power plant at a single location, taking the title from the Topaz Solar Farm in California, which has a capacity of 550 MW.

    The solar plant, built in an impressive eight months and funded by the Adani Group, is cleaned every day by a robotic system, charged by its own solar panels.

    Inside Story - Solar power - bright future?

    At full capacity, it is estimated to produce enough electricity to power about 150,000 homes.

    The project is comprised of 2.5 million individual solar modules, and cost $679m to build.

    The new plant has helped nudge India's total installed solar capacity across the 10 GW mark, according to a statement by research firm Bridge to India, joining only a handful of countries that can make this claim.

    As solar power increases, India is expected to become the world's third-biggest solar market from next year onwards, after China and the US.

    Despite the fast-growing solar power industry, India will still need to increase its take-up of solar panels if it is to achieve the ambitious targets set by the government.

    By 2022, India aims to power 60 million homes by the sun. It is part of the government's goal to produce 40 percent of its power from non-fossil fuels by 2030.

    This aim has been praised by environmental groups and is hoped will also help reduce the country's problem with air quality. At the beginning of this month, the pollution level in the capital New Delhi reached its worst levels in 17 years.

    Solar panels bring cheap energy to India

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News and Agencies


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