Construction on one of India’s largest, if not the largest, solar power park is expected to being soon.

The Minister for Energy in the southern state of Karnataka recently told media outlets that construction on a proposed 5 GW solar power park will begin soon. The Pavagada solar power park is among the more than two dozen solar power parks with cumulative capacity of almost 20 GW approved by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.

The Pavagada solar power park is still in its very initial stages of development. While a total capacity of 5 GW has been proposed, plans for only 2 GW have been shared in the public so far. India’s largest power generation company NTPC Limited and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will jointly auction and allocate the 2 GW capacity in the project size of 50 MW each.

Five power distribution utilities in the southern state of Karnataka recently signed an agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to acquire 1 GW of solar power from a solar power park currently under development. The utilities will purchase electricity from SECI at Rs 4.50/kWh (US¢6.7/kWh) for a period of 25 years.

Recently, NTPC auctioned 500 MW capacity for the solar park. The capacity was allocated to six developers who are free to choose Indian or imported solar power modules for their projects. Adani Power, Tata Power Renewable Energy and Fortum India secured 100 MW capacity each at tariff of Rs 4.79/kWh (US¢7.9/kWh).

NTPC will also hold 100 MW auction wherein developers will be mandated to use only Indian-made solar PV modules. Apart from that NTPC has been designated to auction an additional 1 GW capacity. Power generated from this capacity will be bundled with power generated from NTPC’s own thermal power projects.

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will also auction 400 MW capacity for the solar power park. This capacity will be allocated under the Viability Gap Funding scheme wherein developers will bid for capital cost support needed and sell power at a fixed tariff of Rs Rs 4.43/kWh (US¢6.6/kWh).

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