RAMANATHAPURAM: Over a week after Express first reported that Adani Green Energy, which runs the world’s largest solar plant at Kamuthi, was illegally guzzling at least 2 lakh litres of water each day, the port-to-energy group broke its silence to say its 25 lakh solar modules are cleaned once a month and not daily, as reported.
Daily cleaning was not needed since the plant was not as affected by dust or pollution as their plants in Gujarat and Rajasthan, it claimed. Each day it utilises five-six tanks (6000-litre capacity) of water.
Inviting media persons to visit the plant for the first time, Santhosh Kumar Mall, station head of the plant, said that they have set up a reverse osmosis (RO) plant with a capacity to purify 50,000 litres of saline water in a day, for which they sunk a borewell.
“The solar panels are periodically cleaned to ensure peak production of power. We will utilise water from the RO plant for cleaning the panels. Also, contractors hired for cleaning the panels get water from outside sources. But it is true that we are utilising so much (more than 2 lakh litres) ground water as mentioned in the media report (Express),” contended Mall.
“We need to clean the panels once a month. One panel consumes two litres per month,” he said. Going by Mall’s arithmatic, the total consumption of water per month is 50 lakh litres (25 lakh panels x 2 litre per panel = 50 lakh litres). That works out to 1.67 lakh litres per day, which can be rounded to 2 lakh litres per day. That is what the Express report had stated.
“If it rains, we do not clean them,” he maintained, adding that they had also installed 24 imported dry cleaning machines, which would do the same thing without water, on an experimental basis. Since the machines are costly and the 648 MW capacity plant was less ‘air-polluted’, they may not go for full-fledged installation of these machines, said sources.
Express had on June 6 reported the alleged exploitation of ground water for the plant by contractors using borewells in Kottai Medu, 5 km away from the site.