2,500 acre solar farm constructed in Southern India
The largest solar farm in the world has been constructed in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, taking the record from a facility in California.
The vast 2,500 acre site was built in a record eight months, despite monsoons and floods, and is the equivalent to the size of nearly 60 Taj Mahals, while the area of the solar panels alone could hold 476 football pitches.
The solar farm, which is located in the south of the country, is capable of generating 648 megawatts of clean, green electricity.
It goes some way to helping India realise its ambition to power 60 million homes using solar energy by 2022 in an attempt to position itself as a world leader in renewable energy generation.
Vneet Jaain, CEO of Adani Power which constructed the facility, said: “Before us, the largest solar power plant at a single location was in California in the US. That was 550 MW and was completed in around three years. We wanted to set up a solar plant of 648 MW in a single location in less than a year.”
The enormous solar farm took just eight months to build by 8,500 people in Kamuthi, Ramanathpuram, Tamil Nadu.
The plant comprises of 380,000 foundations, 2,500,000 solar modules, 27,000 metric tonnes of structure, 576 inverters, 154 transformers and 6,000 km of cables.
The overall cost of the mega-structure was approximately $679m (£545m).
“We have a deep commitment to nation-building. We plan to produce 11,000 MW of solar energy in the next five years, putting India on the global map of renewable energy,” said Adani Group Chairman Guatam Adani.
The huge number of solar panels is cleaned daily by a robotic system, itself charged by its own solar panel.
The solar farm should help the Indian government to reach ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions by 33-35 per cent and to produce 40 per cent of its power by non-fossil fuels by 2030.
Increasingly, developing countries around the world are jumping on the renewable energy bandwagon, sidestepping the need to construct fossil fuel-based facilities.
Myanmar recently started constructing a series of hydro-electric power plants in order to solve its energy crisis and move away from coal.