Solar Energy Corporation of India has announced its decision to set up a 1000 MW solar photovoltaic power generation park on a 5000-acre site in the backward district of Mahboobnagar of Andhra Pradesh (located in Telangana), which entails an outlay of Rs 8,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore.

“The entire capacity will come up over the next 18 to 24 months. The site identified by the Mahboobnagar collector will be made ready with necessary infrastructure with an initial outlay of Rs 600 crore,” said Rajendra Nimje, Managing Director of SECI, the nodal agency for implementation of solar power projects in the country.

The Corporation has entered into an agreement with Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation for the facilitation of the land. While the basic infrastructure will be ready within five to six months, developers will be chosen through a competitive bidding process. The solar units will be modular with 10 MW and above.

SECI has tied up with Japanese lending agency JICA for the initial infrastructure and plans to provide loans at lower interest rates for the developers. This could be 4-5 per cent through various multi-lateral agencies like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and through the Clean Energy Fund.

“We have already signed for a 4000 MW solar PV park in Rajasthan, which will be amongst the biggest such park in the world and are also planning at least four more solar parks to be located in Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and another one possibly in Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

The recent bidding process, which comes with viability gap funding, has shown that the tariffs offered are at Rs 5.5 per unit. This compares well with the power now being sold in most States to the end consumer. With the prices steadily coming down, the solar power generation is attractive for developers, he said.

“Already there have been couple of projects which have each crossed 100 MW mark in the country displaying scale. In addition, with other initiatives, we are on course to the target of 10,000 MW of solar capacity by 2017,” he said.

(This article was published on February 28, 2014)
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