Karnataka Proposes to Develop a 500 MW ISTS-Connected Solar Park

Karnataka has proposed setting up a 500 MW solar park at Firozabad in Kalaburagi district, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has said, while presenting the state Budget for 2021-22.

He said in the state legislative assembly that Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) would develop the 500 MW solar power park on 1,551 acres owned by Power Company of Karnataka Limited at a cost of ₹5 billion (68.17 million). Private developers would undertake the project to sell energy outside the state through Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) network.

Earlier this month (KREDL) had issued the ‘Draft Karnataka Renewable Energy Policy 2021-2026’ aimed at developing 20 GW of renewable energy projects with and without energy storage. According to the policy, of these projects, 2 GW will be rooftop solar projects.

Among other Budget proposals related to clean energy, is to encourage research on solar electric devices and their associated technology. It is proposed to set up 1,000 charging stations for electric vehicles (EV) under public-private partnership.

In December 2020, the Karnataka government had approved ₹224.19 billion (~$3.03 billion) to establish an EV manufacturing base. It also approved ₹42.40 billion (~$574 million) for two wind-solar hybrid projects. The EV manufacturing base is expected to generate 4,881 jobs in the state, while the hybrid wind-solar projects could create 8,480 jobs.

Apart from these measures, the government also announced the renovation and modernization of 400/220 KW sub-centers of Karnataka Power Corporation. Under this program, the replacement of equipment is already under way, and the first phase is completed. The second phase will be started at a project expenditure of ₹1 billion (~$13.63 million) after obtaining permission from the power ministry.

The state government has also proposed to automate electricity activities, metering, and audit functions of Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation under the Central Government’s SAMAST (Scheduling, Metering, Accounting and Settlement of Transactions in Electricity) system for the co-ordination of open access electricity transactions and billing reports through the internet.

The government also announced that a 1,000 MW ‘pumped hydro storage plant’ project would be implemented at a cost of ₹40 billion (~$545 million).