The Indian state of Rajasthan has unveiled plans to build four 1GW solar parks in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Barmer.
The announcement is the latest signal of Rajasthan’s intention to usurp Gujarat as India’s leading solar state. In addition to PV power plants, the four sites will also feature manufacturing and R&D centres, a set-up that mirrors Gujarat’s planned 500MW Charanka development.
“Solar parks of 1,000MW capacity will be set up in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Barmer. These enclaves will consist of various zones for activities like manufacturing, research and development, and training,” Pravasi Bharatiya Divas chief minister Ashok Gehlot said.
In contrast to Gujarat, which has developed much of its solar sector independent from the government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, Rajasthan intends to lean heavily on the state solar programme.
With large amounts of fallow land, high irradiance levels and supplies of raw materials, such as zinc, molten salt and solar glass, Rajasthan is an attractive proposition to solar developers, and according to Gehlot, 722 of them have already registered to build projects with a cumulative capacity of 16,900MW. Including projects already registered and those in the pipeline, the sector is expected to attract investment of around INR16,000 crores.