In a few months, an auction is to be held for the construction of a colossally huge solar project amounting to 4,000 MW in India. This was announced by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Shri Tarun Kapoor, at Intersolar India 2013. 4,000 MW of electricity could power approximately 1.3 million average households.
Kapoor added that the first 1,000 MW phase of the project is scheduled for completion within three years, and that tenders will be invited over the next three to four months.
The aim of the project is to bring the cost of power down to INR5 (7.8 US cents) per kWh from the INR6 (9.4 cents) per kWh it is now at for large-scale projects. The first phase could power up to 333,000 houses.
Viability gap funding up to INR1,000 crore ($157 million USD) would be obtained for the project under the second round of the government’s national solar programme (3.9 cents per watt of its capacity). This project will be under the “sole authority” of the Solar Energy Corporation.
According to PV-Tech:
The initial phase is to be developed at Sambhar Lake on more than 7,284 hectares of land from Hindustan Salts. The entire project’s cost is estimated at INR30,000 crore (US$4.7 billion), the equivalent of INR7.5 crore per megawatt (US$1.2 million), said Tarun Kapoor. When fully completed, the 4GW project will produce 6,000 million kWh per year to supply the country with energy through the national grid.
The first 1,000 MW phase will be undertaken by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (REIL) and SSL, the Solar Energy Corporation of India, the Power Grid Corporation of India, and the government-run hydroelectric power plant developer SJVN.
The remaining 3,000 MW of tenders will be issues in 500 MW portions.
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