IIT Kanpur-Backed Company Launches Floating Solar Grid to Power Boats

The project is also equipped with a floating charging and swapping station


Floating solution provider Acquafront Infrastructure has developed ‘i-Ghat,’ a futuristic project to power boats with solar energy instead of diesel at Kada Ghat, Kaushambi, in Uttar Pradesh.

Acquafront originated at the Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), IIT Kanpur.

The company develops floating solutions for large-scale infrastructure, including the world’s first floating CNG (compressed natural gas) refilling station on the River Ganga at Khidkiya Ghat in Varanasi.

The ‘i-Ghat’ project includes integrating reinforced-cement concrete-based floats with solar cells and electric-powered boats using Steel Integrated Floating Jetty technology.

The floating infrastructure avoids the adverse environmental impact of plastic floats and cuts the noise and air pollution caused by diesel boats.

It is also equipped with a floating charging station and has provisions for swapping batteries for the battery-powered electric boats that produce solar energy through the concrete floating solar grid.

The company, however, did not specify the energy capacity for the project.

The facility was commissioned in September 2022 and is supported by NTT DATA, a global digital business, and IT services leader.

The project is built to be self-sufficient, leading to zero air and noise pollution, and aligns with NTT DATA’s aim to support technology innovations for a sustainable world.

Ankit Patel, a co-founder of Acquafront Infrastructure, said, “Rivers have always played a major role in religious and cultural activities in India, but over the last century, industrialization and unequal growth have harmed the ecosystem. The need of the hour is modern avenues to accelerate the development with sustainable solutions for water infrastructure to revive these age-old linkages. The SIFJ technology has been developed to address the unique situation for India and developing nations.”

Uttar Pradesh has also introduced the Electric Vehicle Manufacturing and Mobility Policy 2022, providing several incentives for electric vehicle and battery manufacturing units and purchases.

Last year, the Kochi Metro Rail, a special purpose vehicle formed between the central government and the Kerala government, invited bids for electric vehicle supply equipment for its water metro project in Kochi, Kerala.