Rajasthan is likely to cross 3 GW mark in installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity soon, according to the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation (RREC).
Twenty solar projects aggregating 1.5 GW in the state’s pipeline are nearing completion. Rajasthan is targeting to increase its solar power generation to 3,780 MW by April 2019 to achieve the goal of 7 GW clean energy capacity in the next four years.
According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Rajasthan has an installed solar capacity of ~2.3 GW and a solar project pipeline of ~1.5 MW.
“The current solar power generation is contributing 10 percent to the total power consumption in the state and we are targeting to increase it to 17 percent by 2021,” Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Managing Director B K Doshi told the Press Trust of India (PTI).
He added that the solar power installation capacity in the state has reached 2,280 MW in March 2018 and 20 projects totaling 1,500 MW are in the pipeline. These projects will be commissioned and start generating power by April 2019.
“Work on various projects is in full swing. The second phase of Bhadla solar park near Jodhpur has been commissioned (680 MW) and its third phase (1,000 MW) is under progress. Of the 1 GW capacity under the third phase of Bhadla park, 500 MW will be commissioned in September this year and 500 MW by April next year. Fourth phase of 500 MW will also be commissioned by April 2019,” he said.
Of the total 1,500 MW projects, which are scheduled to be commissioned by April next year, 10 are of the capacity of 100 MW each and 10 are of 50 MW each. Other projects which are under the pipeline are Pokran-Phalodi solar park (750 MW), Fatehgarh phase 1B (1,500 MW) and Nokh, Jaisalmer (1,000 MW).
Doshi also informed that the capital cost of setting up a solar plant is approximately ₹40 million (~$0.61 million)/MW and it used to be much higher before. Therefore, the tariff at which the power is being purchased from companies is different, depending upon their cost of production.
The state of Rajasthan, having huge potential for solar power generation, could only add 496 MW in the last financial year, which is less than the fiscal year of 2016-17, in which the state added 500.55 MW.
Rajasthan has geographical and environmental advantage for solar power generation when compared to other states, but it still falls behind states like Karnataka and Telangana when it comes to capacity addition.
According to Mercom’s recent update, Karnataka’s solar PV capacity crossed the 5 GW mark in the first quarter of 2018, transforming it into India’s top solar state. According to Mercom’s Quarterly Market Update, Telangana became the first Indian state to achieve more than 3 GW of cumulative solar capacity in 2017.
Image credit: Solarpack
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.