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Renewable Future: India to House World's Largest Solar Power Plant

Dec 01, 2016 06:21 AM EST
India to House World's Largest Solar Power Plant
India will be home to the world's largest solar power plant. This means India is set to be the third biggest solar market as early as 2017.
(Photo : Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

India will be home to the world's largest solar power plant. This means India is set to be the third biggest solar market as early as 2017.

According to Al-Jazeera, the site of the new solar power plant is located in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, and has the capacity of 648MW. It covers an area of a whopping 10 square kilometers, making it the largest solar power plant in a single location. This takes away the title from the Topaz Solar Farm in California, which has the capacity of 550MW.

What's more impressive is that the power plant was only built in a span of eight months. It's also cleaned every day by a robust robotic system and is even charged by its own solar panels.

According to Popular Mechanics, if the power plant uses its full power, it can provide enough electricity to at least 150,00 homes. This is worthwhile for a project that has 2.5 million individual solar modules that cost $679 million to build.

The new power plant also helped nudge India towards its total installed solar capacity toward the 10 GW mark. According to Al Jazeera, research firm Bridge to India said the country is one of very few to be able to meet such a threshold.

If India continues this move towards solar power, it would be the third-biggest solar market worldwide. This is after China and the United States, which are both aggressively taking a stance towards climate change.

Still, despite being the fastest-growing solar power industry today, India will have to increase its take-up of solar panels if it wants to achieve the country's rather ambitious goals. It currently wants to power 60 million homes by 2022, a part of the government's goal to produce 40-percent of its power from non-fossil fuels by 2030.

This aim has been praised by a lot of environmental groups. This will also help reduce the country's problem with air quality, as the pollution level in capital New Delhi has reached its worst in 17 years.

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