We hear a lot about renewable and non-renewable source of energy. Solar energy is a renewable source of energy. I am hearing a lot about solar farms and solar parks. What is solar parks or farms? “Solar farms or solar parks are large scale solar installations where photovoltaic (PV) panels, or other means of collecting solar energy, like concentrating solar systems are used to harvest the sun’s power”. They’re lot different than rooftop solar systems and even commercial solar power systems in a number of ways.
In many countries, the nameplate capacity of a photovoltaic power stations is rated in megawatt-peak (MWp), which refers to the solar array's theoretical maximum DC power output. In other countries, the manufacturer gives the surface and the efficiency. However, Canada, Japan, Spain and the United States often specify using the converted lower nominal power output in MWAC, a measure directly comparable to other forms of power generation. A third and less common rating is called the mega-voltamperes (MVA). Most solar parks are developed at a scale of at least 1 MWp. In 2018, the world’s largest operating photo-voltaic power stations surpassed 1 gigawatt or GW.
The land area mandatory for the desired power output varies according to the location, the efficiency of the solar modules, the slope of the site and the type of mounting used. Fixed tilt solar arrays using typical modules of about 15% efficiency on horizontal sites, need about 1 hectare/MW in the places near the equator and this figure rises to over 2 hectares in northern Europe.
Due to the longer shadow the array casts when tilted at a steeper angle, this area is typically about 10% higher for an adjustable tilt array or a single axis tracker, and 20% higher for a 2-axis tracker, though these figures will vary depending on the latitude and the topography.
India has been listed in the largest solar energy producers by the American Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Bhadla Solar Power Plant in Rajasthan is the largest Solar Plant in the world. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IIWFA), said nearly 50% of Solar Parks are constructed in India.
The Bhadla Solar Power Plant is a 2245 Megawatts plant and situated on 14000 acres of land. This project has been constructed in four different phases. Previously, China was the leading producer of solar energy but now India even though a late joiner in the race is way ahead of China.
The project commenced in 2015 with an investment of $1.4 billion. The temperature in Bhadla is from 46 to 48 degrees and is uninhabitable. The first two phases of the park were developed by the Rajasthan Solar Power Park Company Limited. Saurya Urja Company of Rajasthan developed the third instalment. The project in its final stage was designed by Adani Renewable Energy park. The capacity of the project was 500 MW. The nearest urban habitation is 50 kilometers and in Phalodi. This region receives good radiation the whole year. Ten million solar panels have a generation capacity of 2245 megawatt. The solar panels are cleaned by robots and are monitored by humans. Coal has a 70% share in India's electricity generation which is a matter of environmental concern.
India now ranks third in Asia and fourth in the world in terms of solar power production. National Solar Mission was launched in India in 2010. The target set was to develop 20 GW by the end of 2020. We achieved this target much before the due date as there has been heavy activity in this sector. Now, the Government of India aims to extend the utilization of solar energy up to 100 GW by 2022. Right now, we are only using 38% of its total capacity of renewable energy. Some of the country’s biggest solar power plants are located in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Hope India becomes the largest producer of solar energy.