Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has announced yet another plan to boost India’s rapidly growing solar power capacity. SECI plans to set up a 1,000 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) park in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. The project will get financial support from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The solar park will be built on 5,000 acres of land in Mehboobnagar district of Andhra Pradesh and may require an investment of up to US $1 billion. About 20 per cent of this investment would come from the National Clean Energy Fund which derives revenue from tax on coal produced and imported into the country. Multilateral banks like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank may also be approached to provide financial support at nominal interest rates.
“The entire capacity will come up over the next 18 to 24 months. The site identified by the Mahboobnagar collector will be made ready with necessary infrastructure with an initial outlay of Rs 600 crore (US $97 million),” said Rajendra Nimje, Managing Director of SECI, the nodal agency for implementation of solar power projects in the country.
SECI has joined hands with Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation for the land allocation for the solar park. The basic infrastructure for the solar park is expected to be ready within 5-6 months, and after that bidders will be selected based on competitive bidding process. The developers can set up projects in a minimum modular unit size of 10 MW and above.
The development of this solar park will be followed with the development of four other solar parks in states of Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh as per the current agenda of SECI. According to Managing Director of SECI, they have already signed deal for the development of biggest solar park in the country in the state of Rajasthan with an aggregate capacity of 4,000 MW.
Once commissioned, the solar park in Andhra Pradesh will overtake the one operational in the state of Gujarat, which has an installed capacity of around 220 MW.