21 February 2006 - India's Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has commissioned the country's largest solar-diesel hybrid power plant at Bangaram Island in Lakshadwwep.
In a press release BHEL said that the tourist destination would benefit from the installation, which would "would efficiently supply power, besides considerably reducing the consumption of high speed diesel and conserving the ecology and environment."
The Electricity Department of Lakshadweep has previously commissioned a 10 MW solar photovoltaic (SPV) plant on the island in order to help meet increasing demand for power. Based on its success, Lakshadweep administration decided to commission a 50 kW solar diesel hybrid power plant to ensure round-the-clock power supply.
The SPV-Diesel hybrid system at Bangaram comprises a 50 KW SPV array containing SPV modules manufactured with high efficiency single crystalline solar cells, maintenance-free lead acid battery bank, two numbers each of 75 KVA diesel generators, besides a power conditioning unit (PCU) and other associated auxiliaries.
The system works in fully automatic mode by prioritizing on solar power. Depending on the site load, solar availability and the battery state of charge, the diesel generator set automatically turns on and feeds power to site loads and also charges the battery bank.
The Electricity Department of Lakshwadeep is planning to install such system in other islands.