HYDERABAD: The 1,000 MW (1 GW) Kurnool ultra mega solar park in Andhra Pradesh, the world’s largest single location solar park, has become a centre of attraction and case study for global renewable energy companies.
A team of Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), a New York-based environmental advocacy group, recently visited the park and evaluated its achievements.
Ultra mega project
An ultra mega solar park is one which at a single location has total installed capacity of 500 MW.
The Kurnool solar park was set up by Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation through a joint venture special purpose vehicle, in which Solar Energy Corporation of India has 50 per cent stake, Andhra Pradesh Generation Corporation (41 per cent) and New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation (9 per cent).
About 9 square miles of land was acquired for the project and common infrastructure, including roads, were laid for the project, located close to Kurnool. Over 2,500 people were engaged for construction and a skill development centre was set up by Greenko, one of the renewable energy companies.
Of the 1,000 MW, 500 MW was implemented by Greenko, which acquired the asset contract from the US-based bankrupt SunEdison and 350 MW by Soft Bank Energy. The remaining 150 MW was implemented by Azure Power (100 MW) and Adani Group-backed Prayatna Developers (50 MW.
According to a case study presented by NRDC after visiting the site and inputs from AP Solar Power Corporation, the cumulative annual energy generation at 24 per cent output will be 2102.4 million units, bringing about annual carbon reduction of 1,892,160 tonnes of CO2. The project has seen deployment of 45.8 lakh solar PV modules and 1.27 lakh km of cables were laid.
The State government is implementing another park of 1,500 MW at Kadapa.
However, with several other large projects coming up in the country through bids, and prices spiralling down, it is to be seen how long this tag of single largest single location would be retained by the Kurnool park.