Power production at the solar power plant coming up in Tumakuru district, which is said to be the world’s largest, will begin by April-May 2017. The first phase of the project, when it becomes operational in April-May, will add 600 MW to the grid.Speaking to reporters at the European Climate Action Day conference, Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) Managing Director G V Balaram said the second phase of the project, which will add another 1,000 MW to the grid, will be operational eight months after the first phase.
The solar plant will have a total power generation capacity of 2,000 MW.Apart from the first and second phases, an additional 400 MW will be generated by Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd and KREDL. The plant will be operating in full capacity by September 2018, he said.“Works on the project are currently under way. L&T is constructing four stations of 220/60 KV. Construction of roads is being entrusted to another private firm,” he said. Construction of transmission lines is being taken up by Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, he added.
In addition to the main transmission line, tertiary lines are being constructed between Pavagada-Madikeri, Pavagada-Hiriyur and Pavagada-Devanahalli.
Noting that the cost of setting up facilities to produce 1 MW of solar power has dipped from `20 crore to `5.5 crore, he said the trend has pushed solar power prices down.“As a result, we have been able to achieve grid parity, by charging `4.35 per unit of electricity generated from solar power. In comparison, coal-generated power costs `5 a unit,” he said.