A rooftop solar plant has opened in north Punjab, India, whose regional government claims it is the biggest of its kind in the world. Covering eight rooftops and 82 acres, the plant can generate up to 11.5 MW of electricity—enough to power up to 8,000 homes.
The project, which cost 1.35 million rupees (around USD$20 million), is designed to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions by 400,000 tonnes over the next 25 years. The Punjabi government hopes that the initiative will inspire other Indian states to follow their lead.
The plant was unveiled by Punjabi chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in the town of Beas, 45 kilometres from Amritsar. Badal dedicated the new installation to the nation of India.
Bikram Singh Majithia, Punjab’s renewable energy minister, was also in attendance. He said he hoped the project would awaken more people to the potential of renewables. “[T]his project could go a long way in creating awareness about eco-friendly solar power among the general public,” he told the Times of India.
India aims to increase its solar-power capacity to 100GW by 2022. With that in mind, it has been setting up solar plants across the country, as well as launching the International Solar Alliance at the Paris conference last December, of which 120 countries are now members.
But it’s not stopping at solar plants. “Last August, [India] opened the world’s first solar-powered airport in the city of Kochi,” reports Mashable. “The Indian Railways is also planning to roll out its first solar-panel-powered train soon.”
Exciting times for a country where it really does make sense to harness the power of the sun.