Indian utility SJVN starts construction on 1GW solar project in Rajasthan

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Tata Power was awarded last year to be the EPC contractor for the 1GW Bikaner solar PV project in Rajasthan. Image: Tata Power.

Indian state-owned utility SJVN has begun construction of the 1GW Bikaner solar power project in the state of Rajasthan.

The project has a development cost of INR54.82 billion (US$663 million) and is expected to be commissioned by March 2024. Engineering, procurement and construction will be done by energy giant Tata Power, which secured a contract last year.

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The project will use Indian cells and modules and is being developed under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s Central Public Sector Undertaking scheme.

Once completed, the power generated will be used for self-use or by government entities, either directly or through distribution companies, SJVN said.

The utility continues to increase its development of solar projects in Rajasthan, after it announced in February 2022 its plan to deploy 10GW of solar PV in the state over the next five years with an investment of more than US$6.7 billion. It also aims to develop 5GW of solar in the Indian state of Punjab.

Rajasthan continues to be a solar hotbed in India: in the first half of 2022 alone the state installed 4.5GW of solar capacity, almost treble the second state (Gujarat) with 1.5GW of solar added.

SJVN currently has a development portfolio of 73 hydro, solar, wind and thermal projects with a capacity of 45GW across 13 Indian states and in Nepal.

Furthermore, the utility targets to have 25GW of installed capacity by 2030 before doubling to 50GW in 2040.

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