Till 2026, 65% of total floating projects commissioned will be from India & SE Asia: Deepak Ushadevi, Ciel et Terre

Till 2026, 65% of total floating projects commissioned will be from India & SE Asia: Deepak Ushadevi, Ciel et Terre Till 2026, 65% of total floating projects commissioned will be from India & SE Asia: Deepak Ushadevi, Ciel et Terre

Ciel et Terre, which specializes in building floating solar projects all over the world, recently created buzz by establishing a 10.75MWp floating solar plant for Tata Steel. The project is India’s first floating solar installation within a steel power plant. Deepak Ushadevi, MD and CEO, Ciel & Terre Solar (Floating Solar Projects) speaks to Saur Energy International about the potential of India in the sector and its projects in the country. 


Tell us about your firm and its installed capacities.

Ciel et Terre is a pioneer in floating solutions. We have been in this field for the past one decade. Our parent company is a French entity. We have completed around 300 plus projects in 32 countries in five continents. So, over a period of years, we have substantially gained our portfolio. 1.6 gigawatts of projects have been commissioned portfolio-wise by the firm, while 800 plus megawatt projects have been commissioned and 400 plus megawatt projects are in the execution phase right now. In 2018, we were incorporated in India, and since then, we have executed more than 8 projects here. In India, we have crossed 200-250 megawatts. The floating solar segment is growing very rapidly and India is emerging as a leader in the sector.

How does the Indian floating solar market fare when compared to other international markets?

If you see the last five years’ projections and forecast, India is in the top two. Till 2026, 65% of the total floating projects that should be commissioned, will be coming from India and Southeast Asian countries. We are well in the race to become an emerging player within Southeast Asia.  There is a substantial buzz on the floating solar aspects also.

We have already signed five projects while 2 gigawatts of floating solar have been already established. At least 1 gigawatt will be announced through PPA signing. All of this will happen probably within six months’ time. Many tenders on floating solar have also been floated. Safe to say the floating solar segment has matured.

Tell us about your future plans, how do you see your capacities in the next two to three years?

Right now, we are focusing on 1 gigawatt projects, and have crossed around 30% of this figure, having exceeded 200-300 megawatt projects. We are on the radar of achieving this ambition probably in the next one year.

India has the potential of 7-8 gigawatts of floating solar projects in the next 5 years’ time. Even if we say that we take 50% of it, it will really help us to lead the market because we have the know-how and a decade of experience that has been converted into expertise. We have taken up the product to different levels, especially in the price sensitive market like India. We have conceived many new products which will be launched, which is to ensure that it is meeting the quality with price.

Speaking of costs, how does floating solar compare with other solar projects like ground-mounted?

Between ground-mount and floating solar, there was a considerable gap was there, around 15-20%. The gap is now negative and has come down drastically. Another noteworthy part of this is the water-cooling effects and extra generation. The LCOE cost will also come down in the long run. The capex may have that initial hit of less than 10% but that has been negative now. The prices have been dropping down.

Among other benefits of floating solar are the preservation of land, preserving water and no issues with the land acquisition. so, all these elements add up to the benefits. At the same time, we do pollute water, or take over the barren land or fertile land. In many cases, you can preserve the water by adding the floating plant without encroaching land.

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