Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Bhadla Solar Park in the Phalodi township in northwestern India.
“Scorching temperatures, infertile soils, limited water supplies, and frequent wind storms make the Phalodi township in India’s Thar desert an inhospitable place to live. Yet the abundance of open space and sunshine make this remote part of western Rajasthan an ideal place for harvesting solar power,” says NASA.
Bhadla Solar Park is one of the largest solar parks in the world with a total capacity of 2,245 megawatts. It extends throughout more than 22 square miles and contains millions of solar photovoltaic panels.
According to Mercomm India, the Bhadla Solar Park recently helped Rajasthan overtake Karnataka as the Indian state with the largest installed solar capacity.
“Though the area’s consistently clear skies mean sunlight is abundant, frequent dust storms pose an engineering challenge because they coat the panels with layers of minerals and sand that hamper electricity production,” reports NASA.
“Some operators have chosen to unleash thousands of cleaning robots on the panels, a tactic designed to cut manual labor needs and reduce the amount of water required for cleaning. Some recent research suggests that Landsat imagery could assist such systems by helping companies identify dust buildup and optimize cleaning operations.”
The image was captured on January 26, 2022 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory