The Bhadla Solar Park has become the world’s largest solar park, with 2,245 MW of solar projects commissioned. With Hero Future Energies (HFE), commissioning a 300 MW project at Bhadla-III Solar Park, the solar park is now fully operational.
Spread across more than 14,000 acres, the park is located at Bhadla village in the Jodhpur district in Rajasthan. The solar park has been developed by multiple entities. Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL), through its subsidiary, Rajasthan Solar Park Development Company Limited (RSPDCL), has constructed 745 MW of projects. Saurya Urja Company of Rajasthan, a joint venture company of the government of Rajasthan and IL&FS Energy Development Company, has developed infrastructure for 1,000 MW of solar projects. Adani Renewable Energy Park Rajasthan, a joint venture between the government of Rajasthan and Adani Renewable Energy Park, (a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises) has developed 500 MW of solar projects.
Phase-I of the park started with the commissioning of 65 MW of projects, in capacities of 5 MW to 25 MW. Phase II, Batch-2, saw six projects of 70 MW each commissioned in 2017. NTPC commissioned 260 MW of projects in March 2017, under its self-owned projects program.
In November 2016, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) issued tender for 750 MW of projects to be developed in two phases: 500 MW under Phase-III and 250 MW under Phase-IV under the National Solar Mission (NSM) Phase II, Batch IV.
The auction for the 500 MW in May 2017 saw a record-low tariff of ₹2.44 (~$0.037)/kWh, which hasn’t been breached to this day. ACME quoted ₹2.44 (~$0.037)/kWh to win 200 MW, and SB Energy (SoftBank) quoted ₹2.45 (~$0.038)/kWh to develop 300 MW.
In the auction for 250 MW, the lowest tariff discovered was ₹2.62 (~$0.0405)/kWh. Winners included Phelan Energy Group (50 MW), Avaada Power (100 MW), and SB Energy (100 MW).
In June 2017, SECI tendered another 750 MW of solar, 500 MW under Bhadla Phase-III and 250 MW under Phase-IV of the solar park. These projects were auctioned in December 2019, with the 500 MW auction receiving the lowest bid of ₹2.47 (~$0.0380)/kWh and 250 MW auctions witnessing the lowest tariff of ₹2.48 (~$0.0388)/kWh. In the 500 MW auction, the developers who won the bid included Hero Future Energies (300 MW) and SB Energy (200 MW). Azure and ReNew Power won the bid to develop 200 MW and 50 MW respectively in the 250 MW auction.
In December 2019, Mercom reported on the then largest solar park being fully operational in Pavagada, Karnataka, with a capacity of 2,050 MW. Now, with 2,245 MW of solar project, Bhadla solar park housing has become the largest solar park in the world.
Image credit: Azure Power