India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer after the US and China, is continuously working to meet a100 GW solar power target by 2022 as part of its global climate commitments. So which are the plants that will contribute the most to these numbers? We look at the top 10.
The Sun never shone brighter for India’s solar sector than in the past 2 years, as companies and the government scramble to set up solar parks as fast as they can, to meet critical energy demand and of course, our commitments to the global community. Just last quarter, it seems a MW of solar was added every hour! At the recent ReInvest 2018 event,solar was easily the star of the piece, getting most of the attention and promises for more. if we simply look at the numbers, India’s utility solar capacity grew by 72 percent in 2017-18 over the previous year. Total solar installation was 10.4 GW; the rest comprising rooftop solar plants and off-grid solutions, and taking the country’s cumulative solar capacity to 24.4 GW. It installed 9.1 GW of utility solar against 5.5 GW in 2016-17.
For India, a key to meeting its solar objectives is the development of large solar parks, making the country one of the world’s biggest regions for large scale solar parks with a capacity of 500 MW or more. That also explains the location of most of these in the South and North west regions of the country, regions where it is far more easier to find relaively unproductive land.
So here it is, a list of 10 of the largest solar plants in India, whose success will really matter for the sector and the country’s solar goals..
|List of top 10 Solar Plants in India|
|Project name||Location||State||Capacity (MW)||Major Player|
|1||NP Kunta Ultra Mega Solar Park||Anantpur||Andhra Pradesh||500||1500||Tata Power Solar, Azure|
|2||Kadapa Ultra Mega Solar Park||Galiveedu||Andhra Pradesh||1000||Solairedirect, SB Energy, Sprng Energy, Actic LLP, Ayana Renewable Power|
|3||Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park||Kurnool||Andhra Pradesh||1000||1000||SunEdison Energy, SBG Cleantech, Azure Power|
|4||Ananathapurumu II Solar park||Tadipatri||Andhra Pradesh||500|
|5||Pavagada Solar Park||Tumakuru||Karnataka||600||2000||Adani Green & Parampujya, Fortum, ACME, Tata Power Renewable|
|6||Bhadla Solar Park||Phalodi||Rajasthan||746||2255||Solairedirect, Rising Sun Energy, SoftBank, Acme, Avaada Power, SBG Cleantech|
|7||Kamuthi Solar Power Project||Kamuthi||Tamil Nadu||648||648||Adani|
|8||Charanka Solar Power||Charanka||Gujarat||345||500||Torrent Solargen, Kindle Eng and Construction, Alex Asatral Power Pvt. Ltd., GMR Gujarat Solar Power Pvt. Ltd., Roha Dyechem Pvt. Ltd., Sun Edison Energy|
|9||Sakri Solar Plant||Sakri||Maharashtra||125||125||Lanco Infra, Megha Engineering and Prithvi Infra|
|10||Rewa Power Plant||Rewa||Madhya Pradesh||750||750||Mahindra Renewables, ACME, Solengeri Power|
While it is always a challenge to put together the data on the top plants, thanks to the various stages of implementation, some of these solar parks are not close to their full capacity yet. A notable and obvious performance comes from Andhra Pradesh, which has 4 names in the ring, with two of them yet to see action on the commissioning front.
You can also be sure that this list will change in a year or two as states, especially Tamil Nadu and Karnataka push for expansion of capacities.
At a rough ballpark of 5 acres of land for every megawatt, the total land area under these 10 projects itself would be close to 50,000 acres, pointing to the biggest challenge with solar expansion, land availability.
In terms of job creation, the lifetime jobs creation from these solar parks could be close to a million jobs, again going by a rough benchmark of 10 jobs for ever megawatt that is set up.
Most of the parks are supposed to be at full capacity bu 2021 or earlier, although delays seem likely due to consolidation, and the ongoing tussle to find an acceptable price for both the industry and the main buyer, government backed discoms.