India's biggest solar plant in Kolar inaugurated

India's biggest photovoltaic solar power plant, capable of generating 3 MW, at Yalesandra village in Kolar district of Karnataka, was inaugurated formally on Thursday, though it had already commenced power generation and has been integrated with the state power grid (See: Not yet commissioned, Kolar solar power plant up and running).

Erected by the Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd, the state-owned power generating company, the plant will provide energy to 500 pump sets of 10 HP each, benefiting about 1,000 farmers.

The plant, using modular crystalline technology to generate solar energy, has been set up at a cost of Rs59.5 crore. It is the biggest solar power plant in the country today. Earlier West Bengal boasted the largest solar poweer plant in the country, though it has only a 1 MW capacity.

Dedicating the plant to the nation, union minister for new and renewable energy Farooq Abdullah said the government was planning to add 1,000 MW of solar energy to the national grid in the next three years as part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

"Karnataka is a pioneer in using solar energy and the state should take steps to install solar-powered LED lamps for lighting the streets," he said.

Abdullah also suggested that the Karnataka government install solar water heaters in all hospitals, government offices, hostels and other institutions to reduce its dependency on conventional energy sources.