The first phase of one of the largest solar power parks in India is set to be operational in the four months.
Pavagada solar power park will see the 500 megawatts capacity operational by June 2017. The state government plans to increase the capacity of the solar power park to 2,700 megawatts by the end of next year.
The solar park is being developed as a joint venture between Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation Limited and Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited. The location of the solar power park is apt given its extreme arid conditions.
NTPC Limited, on behalf of the joint venture, auctioned 500 megawatts capacity among six project developers. The highly competitive auction saw allocation of the projects at tariffs Rs 4.78/kWh to Rs 4.80/kWh. The power generated from these projects will be shared by the distribution utilities of Karnataka.
Tenders to set up additional capacity at the solar power park are expected to be floated soon. These tenders are expected to reap sharply lower tariff bids compared to those seen in the first phase. Land for the solar park has already been been acquired which means that project developers will not have to pay anything for land.
Solar power parks are expected to the backbone of India’s National Solar Mission which targets 100 gigawatts of operational capacity by 2022. The initial target for contribution by solar power parks was 20 gigawatts which was recently increased to 40 gigawatts by the government.