The tender for the first phase of India’s largest solar power parks has been issued by the state of Gujarat. The solar park will be located at Dholera, an upcoming industrial hub.
The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) has issued a tender calling for bids for 1 gigawatt of solar power capacity at the Dholera solar power park. This would form the first phase of the planned 5 gigawatt solar park. The solar park is currently the second largest planned in India. The largest planned solar park would likely come up at the Ladakh district with a capacity of 25 gigawatts.
The power generated from Dholera solar power park shall be purchased by the state-owned power distribution companies to fulfill their Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) wherein they are required to purchase a minimum percentage of their annual power needs from renewable energy sources.
Power demand in Dholera is expected to rise over the next few years as the government of Gujarat is planning to host large industrial units. The likes of Airbus and Lockheed Martin are expected to set up shop in the industrial city.
As per the tender’s terms, project developers will have nine months to achieve financial closure once the power purchase agreement (PPA) has been signed. The projects must be commissioned within 18 months of the PPA being signed. No maximum tariff bid limit has been set in the tender, and developers can bid for a minimum capacity of 50 megawatts.
Gujarat already operates the Charanka solar park, which was once Asia’s largest solar park. The park has a current installed capacity of 600 megawatts. The state plans two more solar parks in the district of Banaskantha with combined installed capacity of 1.2 gigawatts. Tenders for these solar parks have 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.
However, in order to meet the RPO trajectory set by the central government, Gujarat must have an installed solar power capacity of 8 gigawatts and wind energy capacity of 8.8 gigawatts by March 2022. At present, the installed solar power capacity in Gujarat stands at 1.7 gigawatts, and wind energy at 5.7 gigawatts.
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