Company to invest further in advanced tech to reduce its water footprint across operating and upcoming solar projects
- 4,830 MW of AGEL’s solar portfolio will be covered by robotic cleaning cumulatively in the near term, which will save ~ 595 million litres of water annually
- AGEL has committed to be water positive for all operational plants through reducing water consumption & conservation of water resources
Solar energy is a renewable resource which is inexhaustible until the sun sets. Even though it plays a major role in generating green electricity, solar module cleaning is a water intensive process. Cleaning of solar panels is essential for efficient power generation. In its efforts to make green energy generation sustainable, Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL), is focusing on lowering the water footprint of its solar portfolio by introducing advanced technologies.
AGEL is deploying water-free robotic cleaning system to minimize water consumption for the maintenance of the solar modules. AGEL plans to implement this across its operational solar, hybrid sites (solar capacity of hybrid) and its future projects, especially in arid and dry regions like Rajasthan & Kutch in Gujarat, where renewable water sources are scarce. This will reduce water usage for solar module maintenance to zero.
Currently, the robotic cleaning technology has already been adopted at ~30% of AGEL’s operational solar and hybrid plants i.e., 2,070 MW of 7,043 MW (solar + solar component of hybrid plants). This will save ~283 million litres of water annually, which is equivalent to water requirement of ~2.7 million households every year.
AGEL is likely to ink an agreement of ~0.80 million USD with an Israeli firm for supply and installation of robots. The order to be placed will be for a 150 MW under construction site in Phalodi, near Jodhpur. Installation work has already started at the hybrid plant in Jaisalmer. The company did not respond to queries on the deal.
Over the years, AGEL has engaged robots to counter dust accumulation on solar panels and modules. These robots use water-free technology that is both environmentally friendly and enhances the energy output of solar panels. Keeping in mind the growing concerns around scarcity of freshwater resources, AGEL has been undertaking several water stewardship activities, aligned with UN sustainable development goals (SDG) 6 on sustainable management of water.
During the recent H1 FY24 earnings announcement, Amit Singh, the CEO, Adani Green Energy said: “In line with India’s decarbonisation goals, we remain committed to deliver in excess of 45 GW by 2030. Adani Green continues to have the largest operating renewable portfolio in India with 8.4 GW capacity. We are ramping up our execution capabilities as we prepare for our next phase of growth.”
While AGEL is striving to minimise its water footprint across all operational plants, it is also looking at ways to reduce water usage in its upcoming projects. In FY23, AGEL achieved the water positive certification (for plants more than 200MW) from DNV, an independent global assurance agency. In the coming years, the company will be investing further in advanced technology to minimise water consumption.
“As we go forward, we are electing to use robotic cleaning to significantly reduce water usage to almost zero across our plants… At AGEL, we understand the importance of our role in mitigating climate change risks. We firmly believe that apart from delivering returns to our stakeholders, it is a moral imperative for us to build a cleaner planet for our future generations,” Singh said.
AGEL, which is one of the largest renewable companies in the country, is set to become a key player for India as it positions itself as a critical piece in the global renewable energy sector.
The thrust on research and innovations in the sector, along with conducive policies in the country, have been instrumental in creating a robust ecosystem that supports the growth of locally manufactured green energy. Industry-specific incentives and funding options have also helped create a favourable environment for the renewable sector, which not only addresses climate concerns, but also holds a promise for an equitable future. As India strives to achieve its renewable energy goals, there is a vast scope for expansion, and technological innovation that will further propel the growth of this industry in a sustainable manner.