India finally approves second 20GW solar parks plan

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi. Credit: MNRE

India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given the go ahead for the second phase of India’s mega-scale solar park plans to bring the total to 40GW up from 20GW.

The enhanced capacity was first touted back in June last year and was expected to take just two months for final approval, but it faced certain delays. However, finance minister Arun Jaitley did notify that the expansion would be approved in the latest India budget earlier this month.

The new 20GW will include a total of 50 solar parks each of 500MW capacity or more, which would actually suggest rather more than 20GW overall. However, smaller parks in the Himalayan and other hilly States, where land acquisition could be troublesome, will also be considered under the scheme.

The CCEA approval came following demand from various states to expand the popular solar park scheme. Foreign developers have shown particular interest in the tenders for solar within parks because all transmission and land acquisition challenges are handled by the central government, which will also be investing INR81 billion (US$1.2 billion) in this second phase.

The Indian government has cited the high potential for employment under the scheme in both solar and adjacent industries such as glass, metals and heavy industrial equipment. It also said the scheme makes use of uncultivable land.

Solar Energy Corporation India (SECI) will manage the scheme under the direction of the Ministry of New and renewable Energy (MNRE).

To date, 34 solar parks of aggregate capacity 20GW have been approved. They have been largely responsbile for consistently driving tariffs down across India although natural conditions and tender parameters do differ between the states.

A plan for 'Solar Zones' was also sanctioned last July, but this has yet to see any real movement.

VGF minimum changes

In other news, MNRE has also reduced the minimum project size eligible for viability gap funding (VGF) in special category states and union territories from 10MW to 5MW. The VGF is used in solar tenders run by SECI.

In New Delhi, PV Tech interviewed Ashish Khanna, executive director and CEO, Tata Power Solar, for a discussion on solar parks, which will be published in the coming days.

Read Next

November 24, 2021
Tata Group is planning to set up a 4GW solar cell manufacturing unit in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, according to a report from the Times of India.
November 15, 2021
India’s government is set to scale up funding for its production-linked incentive (PLI) programme for solar manufacturing as it eyes exports of PV equipment.
November 12, 2021
Indian independent power producer (IPP) Azure Power has received a letter of award (LOA) for its first 150MW interstate transmission system connected (ISTS) solar-wind hybrid project with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).
November 5, 2021
First Solar is actively exploring future capacity manufacturing locations after recording a surge in demand, both domestically and internationally, amidst supply chain obstacles impacting the PV industry.
November 2, 2021
India has pledged to have 500GW of renewable capacity, accounting for 50% of its energy mix, by 2030.
November 1, 2021
India and the UK will launch a transnational and transcontinental grid project, the Green Grids Initiative-One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG or OSOWOG), at COP26 tomorrow.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021
Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal