In September of 2016, the Kamuthi solar plant in Tamil Nadu, India was revealed. As a result, India is now number three in the world for solar utility systems, behind only the United States and China. To reach the third spot, India had to gain on the United Kingdom, and this solar farm gave them just enough edge.
This plant was built and funded by Adani power, which was founded on August 22, 1996, as an energy trading company. They took their first step into power generation with a massive coal power project in Mundra. On October 2, 2011, it became the largest thermal power generating company.This huge solar energy plant appears to be Adani’s first venture into massive solar projects.
Who Had the Record Prior?
The previous record for largest solar plant belonged to The Topaz Solar Plant in California, which has a total capacity of 550 megawatts. The Kamuthi plant, by comparison, has a capacity of 648 megawatts. The facility occupies 2,500 acres and can supply energy for hundreds of thousands of homes.
How Green is India?
The first country to set up a ministry of non-conventional energy resources, India has been working towards more sustainable energy sources since the early 1980s. Taking into account this new solar power plant, India has a total of 44.34 gigawatts of capacity attached to renewable sources of energy. The Ministry of Renewable Energy, whose mission statement is to “increase the share of clean power, increase the availability of energy and improve its access, improve energy affordability, and maximize energy equity,” plans to increase this number to 175 gigawatts by the year 2022, and to generate 40% of the country’s electricity from renewable resources by 2030, and this solar power plant shows just how dedicated they are.
How Long Did it Take to Build?
This massive structure was built in only eight months. This feat was accomplished through the dedication of 8,500 team members, who worked 24 hours a day to complete the project. Perhaps as a result of the quick and efficient build, this project cost only $679 million, which dwarfs the smaller Topaz Farm budget, which was around $2.5 billion.
What Plans Does India Have for More Plants?
India has plans to build approximately 25 more large solar power stations, with capacities between 500 and 1000 megawatts. India is also focusing on bringing clean electricity to remote villages and is taking on many other environmental initiatives. If they are successful in this goal, it would mean the world’s new largest solar power plant will soon be replaced by another super capacity power plant in the same country. India, along with China, has an incredible population, and for both of these countries to be working to decrease their impact on the environment so rigorously will have a substantial, positive impact on environmental health.