Jaipur: Rajasthan is a frontrunner to get more than half of the 5180 megawatt solar projects auctioned in the past two months by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), NTPC and Maharashtra government under the open access system.
With its own 1500 MW projects coming up, the state now sets sights on a cumulative capacity of 7500 MW in the next two years which can put the state ahead of Karnataka which now has the maximum capacity in the country.
Sources in the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation said that most of the companies such as ACME Solar, Azure Power, SB Energy, Hero Solar Energy , and Mahoba Solar (Adani group company) which have been awarded the projects have approached it with regard to identifying land and seeking other details necessary for setting up the plants.
When TOI spoke to Harkanwal Singh Wadhwa, head of utilities business, Azure Power, he said the company is actively looking for locations in Rajasthan to set up plants. In the recent biddings, Azure power has won 1030 MW capacity.
“We have identified some location in Jodhpur and Bikaner for the projects. Rajasthan is our favourite location as land, both government and private is easily available here. Secondly, because of good radiation, power generation is higher in the state compared to other locations. Besides, the state is very supportive,” Wadhwa said.
In the three auctions held in July and August, ACME Solar has won 2050 MW, SB Energy 600 MW, Hero 250 MW and Mahoba 250 MW. Power generated from these plants will be used for inter-state consumption as NTPC and SECI will sign power purchase agreements with various state discoms.
Currently, Rajasthan generates 2300 MW power from solar sources and the capacity is set to increase to 3800 MW as two projects having 750 MW each will be commissioned by April 2019.
“One project having 750 MW capacity will be start producing power by the end of next month, while the other plant will come on stream in April next year. This will not only take the total capacity in the state to 3800 MW, but also make Badhla solar park near Jodhpur the largest fully commissioned project having 2250 MW in the country,” said B K Doshi, managing director of RRECL.
Also in the pipeline are projects worth 1500 MW in two phases by the Rajasthan government to meet its renewable power purchase obligation. The official in RRECL said bidding process of 750 MW has already started.
“If we add all the projects, over next two years, Rajasthan is very much on track to produce 7500 MW power from solar and it will be difficult for other states to overtake the state,” said Sunil Bansal, general secretary of Rajasthan Solar Association.
As of now, Karnataka leads the states with a capacity of 5000 MW, followed by Andhra having 4000 MW.