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India's first unique solar plant

Last updated on: July 11, 2011 16:43 IST

India's first unique solar plant

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BS Reporter in Chennai

For the first time in the country, Tata BP Solar India Ltd, a joint venture of Tata Power and BP Solar, has installed and commissioned a megawatt-scale solar power plant under the rooftop and other small solar power generation plant scheme as part of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

The project is owned and developed by B&G Solar Private Limited at Komal West village in Mayiladuthurai district of Tamil Nadu.

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Image: Tata BP Solar plant.

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The 1 Mw plant was synchronised to the grid on June 10, three months ahead of the scheduled date of September 16.

According to K Subramanya, CEO, Tata BP Solar, as the EPC contractor its own team worked in tandem with the B&G Solar team to complete the project ahead of time.

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Image: BP Solar project.

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The plant was put up in a record time of 150 days, he said. The company did not disclose any financial details.

This project uses 4,400 crystalline silicon modules of 230 watt each spread out over an area of 5.5 acres.

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Image: Solar power.

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These modules will generate electric current when solar radiation falls on them. This DC (direct current) electricity will be converted into AC (alternating current) through inverters and upgraded to 11 kV via transformers so that it is fed into the electricity grid lines of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board at 11 kV.

The solar power plant will generate 1.49 million units of electricity per year.

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Image: A solar-powered street light.

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Tata BP Solar has also taken the contract to provide the operation and maintenance (O&M) services to the plant for the first 10 years after commissioning.

The plant is designed to run for 25 years and the crystalline silicon modules manufactured and supplied by Tata BP are guaranteed to perform for this period of 25 years with minimal degradation in the power output over the long life time.

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Image: Solar panels.

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B&G Solar has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the TNEB for 25 years to supply this power to it.

B&G Solar chairman V Bhaktavatsalam said this was the first the solar plant to be commissioned out of a total of 80 such plants totalling 100 Mw coming up all over the country under the rooftop solar plants scheme of the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (Ireda).

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Image: B and G Solar.

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The JNNSM is a flagship project of the Indian government to mainstream the use of solar energy and has galvanised the industry by setting out an ambitious target of installing 20,000 MW of grid-connected solar power generation capacity by 2022 in addition to 2000 MW of off-grid solar power.

Of this, 1100 MW grid-connected solar power capacity is to be installed in the first phase ending in March 2013. Nearly 800 MW of this has already been allocated and is currently under execution.


Image: A shopkeeper adjusts a solar panel at his shop in Gosaba.
Photographs: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters.
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