Madhya Pradesh to host world’s biggest solar photovoltaic plant

Solar power plant in Rewa, estimated to cost Rs 4,500 crore, is expected to be completed by March 2017

By Aruna Kumarankandath
Published: Thursday 30 April 2015

The Topaz Solar Farm in California is currently the biggest solar project, with a 550-MW capacity. The solar plant in Rewa will become the biggest in the world with a 750-MW capacity (Source: Wikipedia)The Madhya Pradesh cabinet this week approved a 750 megawatt (MW) solar power project at Gurh tehsil in Rewa district, which is to be developed in three phases of 250 MW each.

The plant, to be the world’s biggest, will use photovoltaic (PV) technology to generate electricity from the sun. Once it is commissioned, the plant would overtake the Topaz Solar Farm (550 MW) in California’s San Luis Obispo county. The US farm was commissioned in 2014.

Plant to provide cheap power

The solar power plant in Rewa is expected to be completed by March 2017. The project cost has been estimated around Rs 4,500 crore. The cost of electricity generation has been calculated to be as low as Rs 5.50 per unit of power. Currently, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission announced the benchmark for levelised tariff (tariff realised over the span of the project) of solar PV for 2015-16 at Rs 6.86 per unit.

“The loan for the project would be provided by the World Bank,”spokesperson of Madhya Pradesh government, Narottam Mishra, told mediapersons.

The state’s new and renewable energy department will provide land for the project. The Madhya Pradesh government is also on the lookout for private land.

The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited will construct the grid connections and transmission lines of the solar plant. Once it is commissioned, Jabalpur-based Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Limited will buy 40 per cent of power.

Earlier this year, the state’s new and renewable energy additional chief secretary, S R Mohanty, was quoted by the media as saying, “No clearance from the pollution control board is required for the project. We have to sign a joint venture agreement between state-run public sector utility (PSU), Urja Vikas Nigam Limited, and the Solar Energy Corporation of India and a detailed project report will be prepared. We will complete formalities by April and we will be in a position to invite tenders.”

The project is being set up under the scheme for development of solar parks and ultra mega solar power projects. The PV modules for the plant would be sourced from the domestic market. However, it is not mandatory to source PV modules from the domestic market.

The solar project in Rewa would be one of the first of the 25 solar parks planned in the country. There is a proposal to set up another 750 MW plant in Rewa.

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