The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has given its in-principle approval to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) for the development of a 500 MW solar park in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu.
A senior TANGEDCO official confirmed the development to Mercom, adding that a detailed project report would soon be compiled and then the tendering process of the solar park would begin.
According to Mercom’s Q3 India Solar Market Update, with over 1.6 GW of installed solar capacity, Tamil Nadu is one of the top solar states in India. The state also has a strong pipeline of ~2 GW pf projects under development.
After several unsuccessful tenders, TANGEDCO signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with solar project developers to develop 1,500 MW of solar in Tamil Nadu. But in October 2017, TANGEDCO cancelled a 500 MW solar tender it had issued in January 2017. The state has generally struggled to attract projects due to its reputation of delayed payments and curtailments issues.
The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has set a Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) target of 5 percent for the financial year (FY) 2017-18, and it needs ~3,200 MW of solar power to meet that target.
When developed, the solar park in Ramanathapuram is expected to help TANGEDCO achieve its RPO target.
When asked about the ownership of the solar park, the TANGEDCO official said, “TANGEDCO will be the 100 percent owner. We (TANGEDCO) along with the Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation (TANTRANSCO) will develop the evacuation infrastructure for the solar park.”
Talking about the landholding pattern of the proposed solar park, the TANGEDCO official said that it will be developed on government-owned unutilized land. This ensures there will be no clashes between the interests of farmers and others.
Mercom previously reported in June 2017 that the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) had tendered a 500 MW solar park in Tamil Nadu.
Image credit: Mercom India