First Phase Of World’s Largest Solar Power Park Launched In India

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India finally launched the first projects at what will eventually be the world’s solar power park. The solar power park is located in the southern state of Karnataka and has seen several rounds of auctions of the last few months.

The Chief Minister of Karnataka officially launched projects worth 600 megawatts at the Pavagada solar power park. The solar power park has been established through a joint venture between the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL).

There are multiple reports about the eventual planned capacity of the Pavagada solar power park. Some reports suggest that it would be 2 gigawatts, while other suggest 2.7 gigawatts of capacity. The first phase launched has 600 megawatts of capacity from six developers.

Being one of the earliest solar parks to be developed in the country following the announcement of a solar park-specific policy, the Pavagada projects have higher tariffs compared to some of the recent projects in other solar parks. The tariff range from ¢7.35/kWh to ¢7.48/kWh, while the individual project capacity is either 50 megawatts or 100 megawatts.

Of the 600 megawatts of operational capacity at the park, 100 megawatts use Indian-made solar modules. Two projects, of 50 megawatts of capacity each, have been commissioned by Adani Green Energy and Tata Power Solar. Both have sister companies involved in production of solar power modules in India. Adani Green Energy and Tata Power Solar also commissioned a 100 megawatt project each under the ‘open’ category wherein they were free to use either Indian-made or imported modules.

Finland-based Fortum and Acme Cleantech Solutions commissioned 100 megawatt projects each, while RattanIndia Power and ReNew Power, one of India’s largest renewable energy developers, commissioned 50 megawatt projects each.

The entire 600 megawatt capacity was auctioned by SECI on behalf of NTPC Limited, India’s largest power generation company. SECI had also floated a tender to auction projects equipped with storage facility but had to cancel the tender following feedback from the market that the tariff bids would be significantly higher than non-storage projects.

There have also been news of uncertainty over the future auctions for the solar park due to a tussle between NTPC Limited and KREDL. NTPC may have completely pulled out of the future development of the park. Initially, KREDL had to auction just 200 megawatts of capacity while NTPC was supposed to offer 1,000 megawatts of capacity. Last month, however, KREDL launched a tender of 1,200 megawatts of capacity.

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An avid follower of latest developments in the Indian renewable energy sector.

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