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Published on July 17th, 2013 | by Mridul Chadha

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Indian Concentrating Solar Power Plant Largest To Get Approval To Earn Carbon Credits



A 125 MW solar thermal power plant has become the largest concentrating solar power (CVP) plant in the world to be approved to earn carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The project is part of India’s famed National Solar Mission program which aims to add 22 GW of solar power capacity by 2022.

Indian Concentrating Solar Power Plant Largest To Get Approval To Earn Carbon Credits

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The project is owned by a subsidiary of Reliance Power, part of the huge Reliance ADAG conglomerate. The project developer secured the right to set up the project through a round of competitive bidding during the first phase of the National Solar Mission in 2011. Of the 125 MW capacity, only 100 MW has been contracted by the central government, while the balance is expected to be sold to private utilities. The project developer claims that the project can generate up to 280 GWh of electricity every year and can offset over 2.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over a period of 10 years.

A total of 470 MW of solar thermal power capacity was distributed in the competitive bidding. So far only one project of 50 MW capacity has been commissioned. All other projects, including this 125 MW project, are behind their commissioning schedule and are expected achieve commercial operation by March 2014.

The project secured finance from the US Export-Import Bank and the Asian Development Bank, among other development banks.

Compact Linear Fresnel Reflective technology, supplied by AREVA USA, has been used in the project. The reflectors focus the solar radiation to an overhead pipe that contains a heat-absorbing fluid. This fluid transfers heat to water, producing steam to drive a steam turbine which in turn is connected to a generator.

The project will be selling power from the 100 MW block at Rs 11.97 (around $0.20) per kWh. The total project cost is estimated to be Rs 158 crore (~$29 million). Once commissioned, the project will be the largest solar thermal power plant in India as well as Asia, overtaking the recently commissioned Shams 1 solar power plant in UAE.

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About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.



  • abhishek gupta

    i guess the cost is more than 400 million USD for 100 MW out of which 302 Million USD is a loan from EXIM & ADB. More info at http://www.csp-world.com/news/20121010/00508/reliance-power-gets-more-funds-its-100-mw-concentrated-solar-power-plant

    Anyway this would be a big achievement and i wish they expand more .

  • Siddhartha

    The project is at Dhursar Village in Rajasthan, very near to Pokhran.

  • Pratap Malempati

    Very well written article… Yes, Zero is missing on with project cost (its USD 290 millions) and Generation is 280 GWh. Also, Its CSP.

  • Bob_Wallace

    125 MW * 365 days * 6 avg solar hours = 273,750 MWh.

    273 GWh.

    I bet that danged decimal point has been wandering around again….

  • Wayne Williamson

    I really don’t understand how 125MW capacity can equate to 2.8GW per year.

    Let say the 125MWh array produced energy for 5 hours a day for 200 days a year..

    That would be 125 x 5 x 200, or 125 GWh per year.

    Just wonder where these numbers come from….

    • James

      The place where the project would be set up has clear sunshine days for around 300-320 days and most of them are very much more than a certain 5 hours a day. India gets a lot of sunshine and hence the 2.8GW figure might just be a conservative estimate.

  • dewanand

    Very good project in India, I am so happy to read this information, makes my day good. Can you tell me in which part of India ths CSP plant is located? There are huge deserts in India, with days of high solar radiation, and the solar CSP energy of these parts in INdia are enough to produce energy for whole asia, for almost 2 billion years, till our sun will run out of helium and hydrogen fuel for its fusion reactions. . Any scientist knows that I am telling the truth now and it is sad we don’t use this option for green, clean energy on Earth and stop carbon emission and dirty fuels for energy.

    Dewanand
    hindu writer and researcher
    Delft city, Holland

    site: Critical Podium Dewanand
    google my name to find my site and books in dutch and english.

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