Clean Power

Published on July 26th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown

15

100 MW South Indian Solar Park Now Under Construction

July 26th, 2013 by  

Image Credit: India flag via Shutterstock

Image Credit: India flag via Shutterstock

With the laying of a foundational stone, construction of the Raasi Solar Park has commenced in Tamil, Nadu, India.

This project is being undertaken by Raasi Green Earth Energy (RGEE) and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO). The solar park will be located in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. This solar park is expected to attain 70 MW of capacity by January, and the full 100 MW goal by April 2014.

The INR920 crore project will be built on about 600 acres of land by RGEE associates Larsen and Toubro.

Source: PV-Tech.com


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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.



  • Steeple

    At 100MW, that will deliver approx. .07 watts to each Indian man, woman and child. Build 13 of them and everyone gets a watt. Just sayin

    • Bob_Wallace

      If you’d finished that thought it would have led you realizing that India is going to be one honkin’ big solar market.

      And if you knew anything about India you’d know that solar is way competitive with the diesel that is commonly used. India will be an area where storage will get purchased in very large amounts because stored solar is going to be cheaper than burning petroleum for electricity.

      • Steeple

        Bob, you are right. But in a country where people don’t get enough nutrition, trading 500 acres for 100 MW may not be the best use of land. They have some fascinating challenges to balance.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I take it you haven’t been to India.

          India has no shortage of land which is not suitable for agriculture (often because they don’t have water to irrigate it) which makes it available for solar.

        • Ronald Brakels

          Australia has 23 million people and produces enough food kilojoules to feed 230 million people. Everytime I talk to someone in an Indian call center I am indirectly involved in the transfer of food kilojoules to India. The average Indian call center worker is capable of causing more food kilojoules to end up in India than the average Indian agricultural worker. So knowing just what is the best use of land is tricky. Fortunately, market prices can give a clue.

      • Larry Engineer

        Bob, your term “solar storage” interest me. The only way I’m aware of for storing large amounts of energy is pump storage, which is nothing more than pumping water from a low elevation to a higher elevation reservoir. Then when the energy is needed, the water flows back to the lower elevation through a hydro turbine spinning a generator. The cycle is only about 75% efficient, but the energy is available when it is needed, unlike wind and solar, it is only available when the wind blows or the sun shines.

        A good old fashion coal fired power plant can make 2,000,000,000 watts 24/7, while a 600 acre solar farm can only produce 100,000,000 watts for, at best, 10 hours per day when the weather cooperates.

        I’m not opposed to wind or solar. I just think folks need to have realistic expectations.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Well, Larry, what you are talking about is PuHS (Pump up Hydro Storage). It’s a large scale storage technique that’s been used for about 100 years. The US built 20 GW back when we were building nuclear plants. Japan built, IIRC, about 25 GW. PuHS is 85% to above 90% efficient.

          We’ve been building more lately and have some more sites on the drawing board.

          Another mass storage medium is CAES (Compressed Air Energy Storage). There are a couple of facilities on line, one in Alabama and one in Germany. CAES hasn’t penciled out too well due to the heat lost during compression. There are now a couple of companies that have figured out how to separate out the heat during the compression cycle (on way is to spray water into the cylinder) and store the heat separately for reheating the air as it goes into the turbine.

          It looks like there may be CAES systems built into “shipping containers”.

          There are vanadium redox flow batteries which have 65% to 75% efficiencies but have the ability to store large amounts of energy for long periods in non-pressurized tanks. And they offer affordable storage.

          There’s the possibility of extracting H2 from water and later using it in a fuel cell.

          There’s a system being prototyped which uses a heat pump and argon gas to store large amounts of heat in insulated gravel bins. (Isotropic Systems)

          There’s liquid metal batteries which may be very cheap storage. They are past the prototype stage and work is now underway on factory design. (Ambri)

          There are zinc-air batteries being tested on the ConEd grid. (Eos Storage Systems)

          There are multiple companies installing lithium-ion batteries on grids around the world.

          There are other interesting, but less proven ideas such as CAES using underwater bladders and “rail cars” of rock pulled up elevated tracks.

          Oh, there’s thermal storage in concentrated solar systems where heat is stored in salts solutions and used to drive turbines after the Sun sets.

          Good old fashioned coal plants are dead men walking. The US is closing coal plants, about 200 over the next few years, and building no new ones. China has been cutting coal consumption, only increasing their rate slightly in 2013 and dropping consumption over the first half of 2014.

          Spend some time on this site. Go back and read some of the many articles on storage and powering grids with renewables. These’s a changing world out there that’s a hoot to learn about.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Let me add some more, Larry.

            I forgot about flywheels. At this point they are being used for frequency regulation rather than large scale storage.

            Then there’s dispatchable generation (hydro and biofuel) and the use of load-shifting to allow more overbuilding of wind and solar.

            And as we work our way through our first significant generation of EVs their batteries will likely find a second use for grid storage. As we move into longer range EVs (say 200 miles) the batteries from a worn out EV will still have a large amount of capacity left, probably more than 60% of original.

            That means that they can have a useful second life moving wind and solar from when the wind blows and Sun shines to when the wind and Sun aren’t meeting demand.

    • Ronald Brakels

      I now feel sad about how little electricity my solar calculator is providing each person in the world.

    • One solar park at a time…

      • JamesWimberley

        Yes. Apple only makes a measly $300 profit on one iPhone, how can they possibly run a business that way?

        BTW, steeple, India will install 1.3 GW of solar in 2013 , so they are already adding over your 1w per Indian a year. Things will accelerate. Think of America’s wartime production lines for tanks, jeeps, aircraft and ships. Pop, pop, pop, pop.

  • JamesWimberley

    A crore in South Asia is 10 million. So the report says the project will cost 9.2 bn rupees, or $155 million, at $1.55 a watt.

    • Bob_Wallace

      More evidence that large scale solar is now considerably lower than $2/watt. Other places include the UK at $1.59/W and Spain for $1.41/W.

      Even in the not-so-sunny Northeast $1.55/W would produce non-subsidized electricity for under $0.10/kWh.

      Wonder who’ll be first to hit the magic $1/W?

      • Ronald Brakels

        Technically I would say India should be first as they have economies of scale while having a labor cost advantage over China, but who knows who will hit $1 a watt first. And in countries without freely convertable currencies it can be hard to decide what’s the appropriate exchange rate to use, so it might be difficult to say who really gets there first. But get there we will and I don’t think it will take very long.

        • JamesWimberley

          India has problems China does not. It doesn’t yet make much of the gear itself, and a long history of protectionism and bureaucracy (the “permit Raj”). Both countries have lots of cheap skilled labour. I bet China will get there first, even starting a little behind. Watch out also for Thailand and Malaysia, which are that much more developed, have competitive local electronics industries, and strong pro-solar policies.

          It’s US residential prices of $5 a watt that are the real puzzle and international outlier. Germany, Britain, and Australia are all under $3/watt. Since so much of the US market is now leasing, it’s possible the installers are lying about their true costs to boost their tax credits.

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