Things are heating up in India, where one of the world’s top polluting countries has unveiled the world’s largest solar power plant. The 648-megawatt project in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu stole the title from California’s 550MW Topaz Solar Farm, making it the largest solar power plant located on a single site. India’s newest solar plant, which was built on a speedy timeline of just eight months, is largely self-maintaining, with a host of solar-powered robots that clean the solar panels, keeping efficiency rates high and human effort to a minimum.
India has been working to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and install more renewable energy projects to help slash air pollution. The Kamuthi Solar Power Project, funded by Adani Power and running since September 21, contributes to that aim in a significant way. Once the plant is fully operational, it is expected to generate enough energy to power 150,000 households. The $679-million solar power facility contains 2.5 million individual solar cells and spans across 1,270 acres in southern India. Al Jazeera posted a short video (embedded above) that appears to contain drone footage of the expansive solar power project from various angles.
Opening the world’s largest solar power plant is part of India’s broader plan to power 60 million homes with solar power by 2022. These efforts support the government’s energy goals, which target increasing clean energy production to 40 percent of the nation’s power needs by 2030. The new solar power plant is a big leap forward, as it makes India’s total installed solar capacity exceed 10 GW for the first time – but many more solar projects will need to come online in order for the country to meet its renewable energy goals.