Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra top states with maximum capacity approved for solar parks

Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan have topped the list of states with maximum solar power generation capacity approved under solar parks in India, according to fresh data of total 26,449 Megawatt capacity projects released by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has drawn a scheme to set up a number of solar parks across various states in the country, each with a capacity of Solar Projects generally above 500 MW.

The Scheme proposes to provide financial support by Government of India to establish solar parks with an aim to facilitate the creation of infrastructure necessary for setting up new solar power projects in terms of allocation of land, transmission and evacuation lines, access roads, availability of water and others, in a focused manner.

As per the policy, these solar parks will be developed in collaboration with the State Governments. The implementation agency would be Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) on behalf of Government of India (GOI). The states shall designate a nodal agency for implementation of the solar park.

A solar park is a concentrated zone of development of solar power generation projects and provides developers an area that is well characterized, with proper infrastructure and access to amenities and where the risk of the projects can be minimized.

At the state level, the solar park will enable the states to bring in significant investment from project developers in Solar Power sector, to meet its Solar Purchase Obligation (SPO) mandates and provide employment opportunities to the local population.

The state will also be able to reduce its carbon footprint by avoiding emissions equivalent to the solar park’s generated capacity.

They will also generate large direct & indirect employment opportunities in solar and allied industries like glass, metals, heavy industrial equipment etc.

The solar parks will also provide productive use of abundant uncultivable lands which in turn facilitate the development of the surrounding areas.

Given the large land requirement, around 4 acres per Mw, for execution of solar projects, there are inherent execution challenges related to the land acquisition which vary across states, apart from issues of inadequate transmission connectivity.

As a result, efforts both from central and state governments are required to enable and coordinate with nodal implementation agency of a solar park, especially for land acquisition and transmission connectivity, in a time-bound manner so that solar projects of larger size can be attracted through bidding route in such parks.

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