Solar panels by the side of a lake


The Indian State of Madhya Pradesh hosts a 500kW solar project by the side of a lake without using any foundation for the PV panels. The project at Bada Talab in Bhopal uses cantilever (a beam anchored at only one end to vertical support) frame to support the panels on the retaining wall of the lake. 

The project uses 1540 solar panels, running for 1.2 km by the side of the lake.

“The project illustrates that rooftop solar program really means decentralized solar program and is not limited to rooftops,” said Manu Srivastava, principal secretary, New and Renewable Energy Department, the government of Madhya Pradesh, announcing the PV installation as the winner of an award by India’s Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.

The entire operations were completed in just 100 days. “Some operations were done at night since the lake is by the side of VIP Road, one of the busiest roads of Bhopal. The staff climbed onto a suspended scaffolding platform. During the installation, the water level was at its highest and solar panels were installed by staff standing on boats,” said Manu Srivastava.

Panel installation

Madhya Pradesh government

The PV installation produces around 750,000 units annually, which is supplied to the Karbala pumping station. The pumping station pumps 40,000 cubic meters of water to a water treatment center at Shyamla Hills. The solar project leads to annual savings of almost INR 5 million. 

The project would help offset 15,375 tonnes of CO2 emission over its lifespan, which is equivalent to planting 24,600 teak trees.

The project has been implemented by State Discom MP Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd with financing from the government of India, the government of Madhya Pradesh, and Bhopal Municipal Corporation. The World Bank provide technical assistance. The project was executed by Madhav Infra Projects Limited, led by Amit Khurana.





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