Ciel & Terre completes India’s largest floating solar plant


French floating PV specialist Ciel & Terre’s India arm has completed the work on a 14.7 MWp floating solar plant in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. The project was developed for Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation (SPIC) Limited on a water storage pond in its Thoothukudi plant.

“It is India’s largest installed floating solar plant as of date,” stated the company, adding that “while there are other projects of a bigger scale started in India, they are yet to reach the completion stage.”

Ciel & Terre India’s work scope included plant engineering, float supply, and supervision.

The plant uses Ciel & Terre’s proprietary Hydrelio Equato floating platforms, manufactured locally, to support the solar panels. An aggregate 37,632 number of 390 Wp solar panels were used, spanning an area of 15.6 hectares. SPIC is expected to avoid more than 18,686 tonnes of CO2 emissions by substituting the grid electricity with the electricity generated from the PV plant. 

Ciel & Terre India managing director Deepak Ushadevi said, “A captive project like this will benefit the industry from a competitive price compared to the grid, and we can replicate the same model on other industrial reservoirs such as steel, thermal, fertilizers, cement, chemical, etc.”

Over the years, Ciel & Terre has gained vast expertise and substantial experience in the installation of large-scale floating PV plants on artificial and freshwater reservoirs.

“Our team has a thorough understanding of floating PV challenges and accordingly assisted our SPIC customer in the realization of the biggest floating plant in this country despite the Covid-19 pandemic challenges,” said Ushadevi. 

Ciel & Terre India commissioned its first pilot, a 452 KWp project at Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL), Cochin, in 2019. This was followed by a 5.4 MWp at Sagardighi thermal power plant in West Bengal last year. 

Currently, Ciel & Terre India is executing a mega floating project of 75 MWp in South India, which it expects to commission by October this year. The Hydrelio floats for the project are being procured from Ciel & Terre India’s Kerala factory. 

Ciel & Terre International has also launched a global R&D center in Bangalore for innovative engineering and new product development activities. 

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