A step ahead in the government's ambitious plan of setting up 25 solar parks, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has identified 12 locations in various states where such power projects can come up.
The scheme envisages setting up of 25 solar parks over the next five years with a total capacity of around 20,000 Mw, with each park housing a plant with a capacity ranging from 500-1,000 Mw. The installed solar capacity has touched 3,000 mw in the country, according the latest ministry data, and the government aims to increase it to 100,000 Mw by 2022.
"We have identified 12 locations so far and are in the process of finalising the draft proposal for the same," MNRE Joint Secretary Tarun Kapoor said. He said they will soon sent the draft to the Cabinet for approval post which the bidding process could be started. The locations identified are in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Odisha and Punjab, Kapoor said adding that even Mizoram has expressed willingness to set up a park.
"Andhra Pradesh has proposed to have a 2,500 Mw park, Telangana 1,000 Mw, MP is keen to have two parks of 750 Mw each, Karnataka a 750 Mw park, Rajasthan has identified land to set up projects as big as 4,000-5,000 Mw and Odisha and Punjab to have around 3,000 Mw each," he said.
The ministry has cited parks in Gujarat and Rajasthan as models for the proposed solar parks.
"We already have two solar parks, with one each in Gujarat and Rajasthan as models for the parks to be constructed as part of the scheme. The new parks would be based on the similar model," Kapoor said. The solar parks would be developed in collaboration with state governments while Solar Energy Corporation of India would be the implementation agency on behalf of the Centre. "A solar park is a concentrated zone wherein the government will provide land and basic infrastructure for setting up the plant as well as evacuation of power.
Developers, on the other hand, will have to enter into power purchase agreements with distribution companies before setting up the plant," Kapoor added. The government has made an allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for the development of ultra large solar projects and parks, for this financial year.