Ciel et Terre Opens Floating Solar Manufacturing Unit in India

Ciel et Terre International, a French floating solar specialist, has started its endeavour to increase its footprint in the solar industry of India.

As part of its expansion plans in India, one of the most rapidly growing markets in the world, the company has partnered with a local blow moulder in Aurangabad, Maharashtra to start a 50 MW floating solar manufacturing unit.

It has also opened a new subsidiary, Ciel & Terre India, located in Bangalore to offer the latest Hydrelio solution and make the most of expanding floating solar opportunities in the country.

International Coil Limited has bagged the contract for the engineering procurement construction (EPC) of this project.

Its manufacturing unit will first deliver floats to a 5 MW project on a raw water pond at Sagardighi Thermal Power Project located in Murshidabad, West Bengal.

Mercom reported in March 2018 that the West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL) auctioned a 5 MW, grid-connected floating solar project to be developed in the district of Murshidabad.

“Demand for floating solar technology is growing in India and Ciel & Terre is also in discussion with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for a 150 MW floating PV project at the Rihand Dam in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest dam by volume,” said Stéphane Prouvost, CEO of Ciel & Terre India.

As reported by Mercom in March 2018, SECI had tendered 100 MW of floating solar projects to be developed in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Later, the capacity was increased from 100 MW to 150 MW.

The projects will be developed on the Rihand Dam, also known as Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar Reservoir, located in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh.

Prouvost further added, “There are two main markets for floating PV in India. First is the captive market, since India has many conglomerates that own huge water bodies and reservoirs like on steel and thermal power industries. Power from the grid for such companies is at ₹6-9 (~$0.087-0.13) per unit, whereas floating solar can offer power at less than ₹5(~$0.073).”

The second major floating solar market in India is for utility-scale tenders put out by distribution companies (DISCOM), he added.

The French company said it will also provide technology solutions along with the design and customize the floating structure to take the shape of the reservoir. It will install the anchoring system after studying local wind conditions, water level variation and soil computation.

Floating solar PV projects are slowly gaining traction in the country. In the past few months, numerous tenders for small-capacity floating solar PV projects have been issued.

Recently, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) invited an Expression of Interest (EoI) to develop 1,000 MW of floating solar projects.

Nitin is a staff reporter at Mercomindia.com and writes on renewable energy and related sectors. Prior to Mercom, Nitin has worked for CNN IBN, India News, Agricultural Spectrum and Bureaucracy Today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University and Master’s degree in International Relations from Jindal School of International Affairs. More articles from Nitin Kabeer