Solar parks are a vital piece in India’s solar dream and were designed to reduce bottlenecks and bring down large-scale project development costs by allocating land, and providing transmission infrastructure, two big challenges for solar project development in India.
The solar park capacity was initially set at 20 GW, which was later increased to 40 GW to develop a minimum of 50 solar parks of 500 MW and above capacity each by the financial year 2019-20. Later, in July 2018, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) extended the timeline to develop solar parks and ultra-mega solar projects totaling 40 GW from 2019-20 to 2021-22. Recently, the MNRE has modified its guidelines for the development of solar parks and ultra-mega solar power projects.
The top five operational solar parks in India, as of Q1 2020, had a capacity of 7 GW, which represented 22% of the total large-scale solar installations in the country.
Here is a quick look at the top five solar parks in the country:
#1 Bhadla Solar Park, Rajasthan
With attractive solar insolation, the state tops the list of solar park installations in the country. Bhadla Solar Park, with a capacity of 2,245 MW, is the world’s largest solar park.
Spread across more than 14,000 acres, the park is located at Bhadla village in the Jodhpur district in Rajasthan. The solar park contributes to almost 50% of the state’s solar installations, according to Mercom’s Q1 2020 India Solar Market Update.
#2 Pavagada Solar Park, Karnataka
The southern state of Karnataka is home to the Pavagada Solar Park, which is the second-largest in the country with 2,050 MW of projects in operation. Located in the Tumakuru district, the entire solar project capacity in the park was operational by December 2019 and was developed by the Karnataka Solar Park Development Corporation Limited.
#3 Kurnool Solar Park, Andhra Pradesh
The 1 GW Kurnool Solar Park in Andhra Pradesh is the third-largest and was commissioned in July 2017. The 1 GW capacity was auctioned by NTPC and winners included, Greenko, SBG Cleantech, Azure Power, and Adani.
#4 REWA Solar Park, Madhya Pradesh
Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Park, with a capacity of 750 MW, was fully operational by July 2019. The REWA park, with its innovative power purchase agreements, demonstrated an excellent example of a win-win situation by removing developer risks by offering payment guarantees and deemed generation benefits in the park.
#5 Kamuthi Solar Park, Tamil Nadu
With a capacity of 648 MW, Kamuthi Solar Park was operational in 2016. The park project was executed by Adani, and it was commissioned in two parts – 360 MW was commissioned in March 2016, and the other 288 MW was connected in September 2016.
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Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.