Replicate Gujarat’s “Charanka Solar Park ” model across the country -this is the new direction that Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE) has chosen to take. The draft scheme for development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega power projects released yesterday proposes to set up 25 solar parks, each with capacity of 500 MW to 1000 MW. Cost reduction achieved due to economies of scale is cited by MNRE as the major reason for establishment of the massive solar parks. The draft scheme also highlights the success of “Charanka Solar Park” in Gujarat and “Bhadla Solar Park” in Rajasthan.
Since the onus is on the state government to develop these parks, the success of this concept will depend on a large extent to the states’ commitment to meet their respective Renewable Purchase Obligation(RPO) and willingness to identify and acquire contiguous land parcels.
Some of the highlights of the draft scheme are as follows.
a. The 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 (G0I).
b. The responsibility for land acquisition will lie with the state government. The land should be contiguous, have high solar radiation, have good grid access and have water availability.
c. There should be a single window clearing system to reduce lead times to get necessary statutory approvals. The implementing agency will make available developed land with physical infrastructure(roads, water, drains, etc), communication infrastructure and evacuation infrastructure.
d. The implementation agency may sell/lease out the plots to prospective project developers.
e. “After the solar park is approved by MNRE, the implementing agency may apply for a grant of Rs. 25 lakhs for preparing DPR, conducting surveys etc. Thereafter application may be made for the grant at the rate of up to Rs.20 lakhs/MW or 30% of the project cost including grid connectivity cost whichever is lower.”
f. Power Sale Agreement – The developers can participate in bids under JNNSM and state policies, and enter into PPA accordingly, if selected. Developers can also opt for third party sale.
The draft scheme can be downloaded here.