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Floating solar plants may lose viability in India due to cost pressure

<p>Efforts from state governments such as those of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh to develop floating solar plants might hit the financial-viability hurdle. Ton-availability of the primary float structure in India make these projects an expensive option. Companies like JSW Energy have been planning to get into this business, while the Tatas and NTPC have already done pilots. Limited domestic availability of floats, however, is a big challenge. The industry has to depend on European or Chinese suppliers, which is not cost effective.</p> <p>Floating solar plants are considered an alternate option to tackle land availability issues. The concept involves setting up solar panels on floats placed on dams, lakes and similar water bodies. However, the indigenous production of floats, which substitutes land in a floating solar power set-up, at present, is minimal.&nbsp;</p> <p><br /> There are a couple of foreign manufacturers looking to set up float manufacturing capacity in India. Industry sources added that once floats were available in India and matched demand, the cost for one unit was expected to fall to sub-Rs 3 level -- which is still higher compared to ground-mounted solar. The country is yet to see bids submitted for a floating solar plant from potential power companies.</p>