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The islands of Lakshadweep receive abundant sunlight throughout the year except for a couple of days during monsoon that provides an ideal opportunity for the use of solar power in the islands. In this scenario, the Electricity Department, nodal agency for the implementation of NRSE systems in these Islands decided to try SPV systems for Power Generation. Initially the smallest island Bitra was surveyed and a 5 kWp SPV Plant was set-up during 1988. Based   on   the   successful   operation,   the   same    was 

augmented to 25 kWp in 1993, a 10 kWp SPV Power Plant was installed in 1996 at Bangaram Island and a 50 kWp SPV Power Plant in Kadmat Island during 1998.

           These plants were stand alone SPV Power Plants, i.e. the power from the PV array was used to charge a battery bank and this power was converted to AC and used to power the loads at night. Apart from these power plants, solar PV street lighting systems have also been installed in the islands and solar lanterns have been distributed to individual houses. With advances in technology, Grid Interactive SPV Power plants which can be synchronized with the Diesel Grid on the islands has also introduced. As a demonstration project, with the financial assistance of Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, a 100 kWp Grid Interactive Solar Power Plant was installed at Kiltan island in the year 2000. Subsequently MNES sanctioned another 100 kWp Grid Interactive SPV Power Plant for Minicoy island which was also commissioned in the year 2000.

          The successful operation of these SPV grid interactive plants emboldened the Department to embark on a major programme of providing electricity through Solar Power Plants to the various islands. Surveys were conducted in all the islands and proposal was submitted to MNES . During March 2001, the Ministry sanctioned an ambitious project of 700 kWp of SPV Power Plants.

          This project envisages installation of 7 Nos. of 100 kWp SPV Power Plants in seven islands. The brief system description is given below:

100 kWp SPV grid interactive Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant

The 100 kWp SPV grid interactive Power Plant consists of a PV array generating electricity and supplying loads through Power Conditioning Units (PCUs) and a Data Acquisition system provides system information.

          The 100 kWp PV array consists 1440 nos. of 70 Wp PV modules mounted on 72 structures. The PV modules are mounted facing north – south and tilted at an angle equal to the latitude of the site.

          The DC power generated by the SPV array is fed to two nos. of Power Conditioning Units (PCU) each rated for 50 KVA. Here the DC power generated by the SPV array is inverted to synchronized 3 – phase AC power and fed to the grid through AC Distribution Board containing isolator, meters etc. The PCUs employ digital Phase Lock Loop (PLL) technique for synchronization and PWM technique for inversion.IGBT devices are used for this

purpose so that switching losses are minimal and hence higher conversion is achieved. The Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) control provided enables the PV modules/ array to operate at the maximum power point to obtain optimum output from the array. The efficiency of the inverter is above 90% between half to full load and the harmonic distortion is less than 3%. The inverter uses auto – synchronizer so that changeover from grid to PV or vice-versa is bumpless i.e. has no effect on the load.

            Grid synchronization from the solar PV modules is achieved by continuously monitoring the grid voltage and frequency and comparing with the standard 3 – phase waveform generated in the micro-controller. Islanding problem is overcome by sensing the grid current in the feedback loop which shuts off pulses to IGBT devices, thus isolating the inverter from the grid. The inverter output frequency is locked too the grid frequency between 47 – 51Hz. The Data Acquisition System (DAS) collects the data at programmable interval of the minute minimum upto 24 hours. The DAS has following features.

              Integrated logging system with extensive metering of supply resources.

Historic data logging including summation and Historic event logging.

Recording periodically grid and inverter parameters viz: AC voltage, Power, Power Factor, frequency etc.

Recording DC link parameters such as link voltage and current

Access to the integrated "SCADA" components via a computer enabling event logging of all system status changes and system faults as they occur.

         SPV Power Plants in Lakshadweep



Date of Commissioning

Installed Capacity kWp






























Kalpeni 02/05/2004 100
9 Suheli 02/05/2005 15




11 Chetlat 02/03/2009 100
12 Amini 09/05/2009 100
(Figures are as on 01/09/2009)                  Total 1065

          The 25 kWp stand alone system working at Bitra since 1988 is augmented to 50 kWp in the year 2004. Since then entire load demand during day time of the island is met from the plant. 10 kWp stand alone SPV power plant at Bangaram is also augmented to 50 kWp Solar – Diesel (120 kW) hybrid plant, perhaps it may be first of its kind in India. 


          The islands present a different set of logistical problems where power generation is concerned due to their distance from the mainland. In this scenario, the extensive of solar power has provided a solution by which decentralized power can be generated near the users. This clean eco friendly power provides an ideal fit for the power needs as well as environmental considerations for these idyllic islands. The Lakshadweep Administration has now decided to extend the use of renewables in the islands, so that at least 20% of the total power demand is met by these alternate energy sources initially and then progress to 100% electrification through renewable energy.


           4 units of 50 kg Fish Drier is installed at Caning Factory, Minicoy island. 50 Nos of Solar Photo Voltaic Street Lights purchased during 2008-09 is installed at Kalpeni, Cheriyam, Kavaratti & Bangaram islands. 1500 Nos of Solar Lanterns procured and distributed to the public as per MNRE scheme for the year.


I.  Solar Power Plant:-

            100 kWp grid interactive SPV power plants at Kavaratti, Andrott & Minicoy and 150 kWp SPV power plant at Kadmat will be augmented to such capacity, so that these plants will be able to replace one of the Diesel Generating Sets from operation during day time. 15 kWp stand alone SPV power plant at Suheli will also be augmented to 50 kWp capacity. Another 50 kWp Stand alone SPV power plant is in pipe line for Cheriyam island. Possibilities of stand alone SPV power plants for largest single consumers is also being explored. M/s Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited, Electronics Division, Bangalore is entrusted with the preparation of Detailed Project Report for these plants.

 II. Wind Electric Generators:-

            3 Nos of 250/220 kW Wind Electric Generators are proposed to be installed at Kavaratti island. During windy monsoon season these WEG in operation will replace one of the 400 kW DG set from operation, thereby reducing the consumption of the Diesel for generation of electricity. Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET) Chennai is entrusted with the preparation of the Bid Documents for the projects. The projects will be installed on turn key basis with the operation & maintenance entrusted to the supplier  for five/ten years.

             Wind monitoring stations of 50 M mast height are being installed at 6 islands to study the wind parameters to explore the viability of installing WEGs at other islands. 

 III. Biomass Gasifier Plant:

            The existing 250 kW Biomass Gasifier plant at Kavaratti is being refurbished with the assistance of MNRE & IISc. Dual fuel engine will be replaced with a 120 kWp Producer Gas Engine making the plant free from the use of Diesel for power generation.


Click here to view the specification / details of the SPV power plant, Kavaratti

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