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India To Build World's Largest Solar Plant 253

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-big-or-go-home dept.
ananyo writes "India has pledged to build the world's most powerful solar plant. With a nominal capacity of 4,000 megawatts, comparable to that of four full-size nuclear reactors, the 'ultra mega' project will be more than ten times larger than any other solar project built so far, and it will spread over 77 square kilometres of land — greater than the island of Manhattan. Six state-owned companies have formed a joint venture to execute the project, which they say can be completed in seven years at a projected cost of US$4.4 billion. The proposed location is near Sambhar Salt Lake in the northern state of Rajasthan."
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India To Build World's Largest Solar Plant

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  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @11:21PM (#46158525)

    4,000MW is 4 jiggawatts...

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @11:35PM (#46158619) Journal
    Believe it or not, even with 1.2 billion people India still has vast tracts of empty land. This 30 square miles is not a big deal.
  • by Hadlock (143607) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @11:53PM (#46158747) Homepage Journal

    30 square miles of unfarmable salt flats, solar is a pretty good use of the space, really. Not to mention jump starting the local solar panel industry something fierce.

  • by KonoWatakushi (910213) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @12:53AM (#46159057)

    "The solar photovoltaic power plant will have an estimated life of 25 years and is expected to supply 6.4 billion kilowatt-hours per year, according to official figures."

    For reference, a single 1GWe nuclear plant operating at (a conservative) 0.85 capacity factor will produce 7.45 TW-hours/year of reliable power. So this solar plant isn't the equivalent of one reactor, much less four. Considering that nuclear plants typically last 60 years and AP1000s are near $2/W in China, the solar option costs five times as much over that time frame.

    While this solar farm is idle at night and unreliable by day, the transmission infrastructure must be built to handle the full capacity of the equivalent four nuclear plants, and it will sit idle most of the time. The solar option makes no economic sense, when instead they could purchase two actual 1GWe nuclear plants, and have 15 TW-hours/year of reliable power for more than twice as long.

  • by fnj (64210) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @02:01AM (#46159479)

    Congratulations to India for leading the world on a big step away from fossil fuels.
    This is what all the world should be doing if we are going to reduce the effects of global warming and climate change

    India has an installed capacity of 234 GW [wikipedia.org]. I'm not sure that adding solar power of less than 2% of that figure counts as a "big step away from fossil fuels". Necessary beginning step, sure. Commendable, arguably. Significant, maybe. Precursor to "big", possibly.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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