India’s Gujarat Tenders 700 Megawatt Solar Capacity

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The Indian state of Gujarat has issued a fresh tender to set up 700 megawatts of solar power capacity. The capacity is perhaps the largest on offer in several years from the state of Gujarat, which is planning to take back the throne of the leading Indian state in the solar sector.

The tender has been issued by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) for the state power distribution utilities to meet their Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO). All power distribution utilities in India are obligated to procure a set minimum percentage of power from solar and other renewable energy sources.

The capacity will be set up at Raghanesda solar power park in the district of Banaskantha. This is a new solar park, and likely the first to be set up in the state after the famous Charanka solar power park, which was once the largest solar power park in Asia. The envisaged capacity of this park will be 700 megawatts, and has been listed as one of the approved parks by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

According to the tender specifications, the solar park has been divided into three blocks — two blocks of 250 megawatts each and one block of 200 megawatts. Project developers are required to bid for at least one or more full blocks. No maximum tariff bid has been declared by GUVNL, but the bids are expected to be comparable to some of the lowest seen in India till date.

The most recent auction of 500 megawatts of solar power capacity in the state yielded the lowest-ever tariff for any solar power plant in the country. The capacity was divided among three developers at the record-low tariff of Rs 2.44/kWh (¢3.31/kWh) to Rs 2.45/kWh (¢3.33/kWh).

Gujarat was the first state in India to set up a large-scale solar power park. For a long time it was the largest state in terms of installed solar power capacity. Due to a long lull in the state policy, and developers’ preference for other states, Gujarat slipped on the list of states with largest installed capacity.

The current installed capacity at Charanka solar power park is around 600 megawatts, and is reported to be increased to 790 megawatts. Apart from this 700 megawatt solar park, the state has also approved a 500 megawatt solar park in the same district of Banaskantha.

Gujarat also plans to set up the largest solar power park in the country. The park will have an installed capacity of 5 gigawatts, and shall be located at Dholera. Expression of Interest to set up the first 1 gigawatt capacity has already been issued.

To meet the RPO targets of its power distribution utilities Gujarat plans to have an operational solar power capacity of 5.5 gigawatts, and 1.5 gigawatts of wind energy capacity by March 2022.

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

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