I have been passionate to write about this but first I want to ask you- Why solar energy is being considered as such a rapidly growing business in India? Have you ever thought about it? Let’s have a look at it.
As we know that renewable energy source means an energy source that is sustainable – something that can’t run out or is endless, like the sun. Solar energy is a vertical of renewable energy and is used to harness the sun’s energy to convert it into a useful form of energy. Renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy source globally and in India. According to the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness index 2018 by EY, India is in 4th position in renewable energy sector attractiveness in the world. According to MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy), India ranks 5th in solar energy generation. From April 2015 to February 2021, India has added 53.4 GW from renewable energy sources which have taken its total power generation capacity to 117.9 GW.
Solar energy has been a frontrunner in the renewable energy portfolio of India and contributed 40.9 GW of capacity addition by March 31, 2021. The initial target of 20 GW capacity set for 2022 by the Indian government was achieved four years ahead of schedule. But have you ever thought, how did India achieve such a big target? India achieved this target due to some biggest solar parks which were set up in India. I am going to mention some top 5 solar parks in India. Here I’m going to describe these solar parks, about their power generation in India, their projects, etc… let’s take a look at them:
Bhadla Solar Park, Rajasthan
- Area of park: 14000 acres
- Power generation capacity: 2.25 GW
- Location: Village – Bhadla, Tehsil – Phalodi, District – Jodhpur, State – Rajasthan, Country – India
As of 2020, this solar park is the largest solar park in the world. It is located in Bhadla village, which is located 220 km away from Jodhpur district on Bap-Bhadla Road. It was developed in four phases, where Rajasthan Solar Park Development Company Limited (RSPDCL, a subsidiary of Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL)) developed the first two phases, Saurya Urja Company developed phase three, and Adani Renewable Energy Park developed the last phase. This solar park also witnessed a historical low tariff bid of ₹2.44 /kWh in May 2017 for a 500 MW auction by ACME Solar. The park’s estimated investment stands around INR 10,000 crores. The Park was developed under the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) scheme for the development of solar parks and ultra-mega solar power projects and under the Rajasthan Solar Energy Policy, 2011.
Pavagada Solar Park, Karnataka
- Area of park: 13000 acres (53 square kilometers)
- Power generation capacity: 2.05 GW
- Location: Village – Tirumani, Taluk – Pavagada, District – Tumkur, State – Karnataka, Country – India
It is the worlds’ second-largest solar park after Bhadala Solar Park. The work of the Pavagada Solar Park, also known as Shakti Sthala, began in October 2016 and completed in 2019. The plant is developed by the Karnataka Solar Park Development Corporation Limited (KSPDCL). KSPDCL is a joint venture between the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. (KREDL) and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The Park is a major part of the “Karnataka Solar Policy 2014-2021″ which is targeting to decrease dependence on traditional power sources and to meet the growing power needs of the state by renewable energy sources. The unique feature of the park is that land used in the entire park is leased (INR 21,000 per acre per year to the landowner with a five percent escalation every two years), which has lowered the park’s cost.
Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park
- Area of park: 5,932.32 Acres (24 square kilometers)
- Power generation capacity: 1 GW
- Location: Mandal – Panyam, District – Kurnool, State – Andhra Pradesh, Country – India
This solar park, which is owned by Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation Private Limited (APSPCL), was commissioned in 2017. The APSPCL is a joint venture between the central and state government. The total investment was around INR 7000 crores (US$ 980 million). Out of a total of 1 GW, 500 MW was implemented by M/s Sun Edison (M/s GreenKo), 350 MW was from M/s Soft Bank Energy, 100 MW from M/s Azure Power, and 100 MW was implemented by M/s Prayatna Developers (M/s Adani). The Park has witnessed the deployment of 45.8 lakh solar PV modules and 1.27 lakh km of cables installed.
NP Kunta Ultra Mega Solar Park
- Area of park: ~ 7,924 acres Paryatan (32 square kilometers)
- Power generation capacity: 1.5 GW (Planned), 0.97 GW (Operational)
- Location: Mandal – Nambulapulakunta, District – Ananthapur, State – Andhra Pradesh, Country – India
This solar Park, also known as Ananthapuram Ultra Mega Solar Park, was commissioned in May 2016. It was planned to be developed in two phases. The plant is governed by the Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation Private Limited (APSPCL). As per a report by NEW AND RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF AP LTD (NREDCAP), TADEPALLI, a total 978.5 MW capacity was commissioned, in which Sprng Agnitra implemented 250 MW, Ayana Solar commissioned 228.5 MW, SB Energy Solar installed 250 MW, and NTPC commissioned 250 MW in different phases.
Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Plant
- Area of park: ~ 3928 Acres (1590 hectares)
- Power generation capacity: 0.75 GW (750 MW)
- Location: Tehsil – Gurh, District – Rewa, State – Madhya Pradesh, Country – India
Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power Project (Rewa UMSPP) is the largest ultra-mega solar project in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is owned by the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL), which is a Joint Venture Company of Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd. (MPUVN), and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), formed in 2015.
This plant was developed by Mahindra Renewables Private Ltd., Acme Jaipur Solar Power Private Ltd., and Arinsun Clean Energy Private Ltd, where each company has developed a 250 MW Unit. Total 750 MW capacity was commissioned by January 2020. The project is also known for supplying power outside of the state to an inter-state open access customer. The project boasts a unique structuring and is having two power procurers, namely, Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Ltd. (MPPMCL, 76% power) and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC, 24% power).
These are the top 5 solar plants in India as of now, but many ultra-solar projects are in pipeline in different states of India and will soon compete with this top plant. These solar parks are responsible for achieving such a big target in solar power generation and help India to make 5th position in solar installed capacity. I’ll also keep updating the blog with the largest solar projects details as they become operational.
Manav Kumar is a renewable energy enthusiast. He has a deep interest in research and development, policies, and the latest trends of the RE sector. He also likes to share the latest happenings of the RE sector through blogs. He believes that only renewable energy can ensure the greener & sustainable future of the world. He is aiming to contribute to the growth of the RE sector in India after completing his graduation.