Construction has begun at one of India’s largest solar power parks, located in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The solar power park is unique in more than one way.
The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh recently laid the foundation stone for the Rewa solar power park. The project will have an installed capacity of 750 megawatts (AC), which was auctioned off in March 2017 among three developers.
The project is expected to operate for 25 years, bringing in an estimated financial savings of Rs 3,306 crore (around $500 million). The savings have likely been estimated based on the current average cost of electricity for the buyers. The savings are essentially due to the low solar tariff bid submitted by the project developers. The total cost of setting up the solar power park is estimated at around $700 million.
The three units of the solar power park have been awarded at tariffs of Rs 2.970 to Rs 2.979 per kWh (4.4¢/kWh). The lowest bid was placed by ACME Cleantech Solutions, one of the leading solar power project developers in India. Mahindra Renewables, part of a large industrial conglomerate, secured a 250 megawatt unit at Rs 2.974/kWh, and Solenergi secured the third unit at Rs 2.979/kWh. The bids placed by these developers are for only the first year of project operations. The tariffs will increase by Rs 0.05/kWh (0.07¢/kWh) for a period of 15 years. Thus, the levellised tariff for all three units will be around Rs 3.30/kWh (4.9¢/kWh).
The tender for this solar power park was heavily oversubscribed, with prospective bidders willing to set up as much as 7.5 gigawatts of capacity. The huge interest in this project was due to a variety of factors, including an assurance by the World Bank to offer debt at 0.25% and power procurement of 180 megawatts by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
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