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
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 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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  • Though this sounds big,around

    Though this sounds big,around the globe giant solar projects are limited. On the other hand small roof top solar projects yield quick results. For Major Solar Projects especially in the desert regions water and dust (to keep the panels clean) is a problem. For example for CSP:
    For example, a typical parabolic trough plant with wet cooling uses approximately 800 gallons/MWh, comprised of 780 gallons for evaporation and water make-up and 20 gallons for mirror washing. Change to dry cooling ÔÇô at the expense of increased capital costs and decreased efficiency ÔÇô and a facility still requires approximately 80 gallons/MWh for make-up and mirror washing. For a 100 MW facility operating 14 hours per day (i.e. producing 1,400 MWh per day), thatÔÇÖs over one million gallons of water per day; change to dry cooling and that 100 MW facility still consumes more than 100,000 gallons of water per day.
    The US Department of Energy summarizes the mirror cleaning issue this way: ÔÇ£For example, reduced reflectivity of a solar mirror due to soiling can lead to an 8%ÔÇô12% drop in performance between cleanings. The issue of soiling and cleaning must be dealt with before CSP plants are deployed on a massive scale in low-water desert environments.ÔÇØ
    It is good that PV is chosen for the project.
    On the other hand Madhya Pradesh though started early is rather slow in harnessing Wind Energy. Gross Wind Potential of Madhya Pradesh: 5500 MW while the installed Wind capacity at the end of March 2014 stood at 439 MW .Estimation of Wind Power Potential at 50 meter and 80 Meter hub-height: 920 Mw and 2931 MW.
    Today MW size Wind Turbines are available in the country. A wind turbine can be installed in a month. Moreover the efficiency of Wind compared to Solar PV is almost double.
    Total Renewable Energy Installed Capacity (31 Dec 2014)

    Source Total Installed Capacity (MW)
    Wind Power 22,465.03
    Solar Power (SPV) 3,062.68
    Small Hydro Power 3,990.83
    Biomass Power 1,365.20
    Bagasse Cogeneration 2,800.35
    Waste to Power 107.58
    Total 33,791.74
    It is hoped Madhya Pradesh Government promotes Wind Energy on a massive scale.
    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP)

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • Good plant

    Posted by: Mukesh Dwivedi | 4 years ago | Reply