Private sector companies in India are now being attracted towards the development of large-scale solar power projects in the country.
According to media reports, a Kolkata-based industry conglomerate has proposed to set a 600 MW solar power park in the state of Odisha. Sonthalia Group has proposed to the Odisha government to provide it with 1,250 hectares of barren land on lease for the development of the project.
The Group hopes to sign a memorandum of understanding with the state government for the project, possibly giving it some leeway on the tariff – which otherwise would likely have been discovered through competitive bidding. The Group also hopes to sell power generated from the solar park to the state utility through a long-term power purchase agreement.
The state government has been urged by the Group to forward this proposal to the central government which may then recognise it under the ultra mega solar power projects scheme. This would enable the Group to avail various benefits offered by the central government.
The Odisha government is already working on an approved 1 GW solar power park. The 1 GW project will be spread over 5,000 acres of land. The state would acquire 20% of the electricity generated while the developers shall be free to sell the balance in open market.
Several foreign and Indian developers, including SoftBank-led SB Energy, SkyPower Global, Azure Power, Panchvaktra Holdings, Orange Renewable and Shapoorji Pallonji, have expressed interest in developing projects at the solar power park.
As per state renewable energy policy, Odisha plans to add 3 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. The capacity addition target includes 2.3 GW of solar power, 350 MW wind energy, 150 MW of small-scale hydro power, 180 MW of biomass-based power, and 20 MW of municipal solid waste-based power capacity.