Gujarat emerges as top destination of hybrid RE capacities

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on December 15, 2020

First three years will see commissioning of about 14,000 Mw RE capacities at Kutch

Gujarat is all set to become home to World’s largest hybrid renewable energy (wind and solar) park with a combined capacity of 30 Gigawatt (GW) as Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone for the iconic project.

Modi claimed that the park, spread across 70,000 hectares, is as big as countries like Singapore or Bahrain.

In his address during the foundation-stone-laying ceremony held at Dhordo near the India-Pakistan border in Kutch on Tuesday, Modi said, “Close to ₹1.5 lakh crore will be invested in this hybrid renewable energy park and provide employment to about 1 lakh people. There can be no better way to use the wasteland and desert land. Windmills along the border will be useful for border security. Above all, every year, it will save 5 crore tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. It will significantly bring down India’s per capita carbon emission.”

Gujarat’s Energy Minister Saurabh Patel, who has served as energy minister for 17 years in a row - longest for any State minister, spoke to Businessline about the features of the largest single location renewable energy project anywhere in the world. “With this landmark project, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made India a champion of climate change movement in the world and put the nation at the forefront of the global clean energy mission,” he said.

Among the prospective developers at the park include Adani Green Energy Limited (9,500 MW) on 19,000 hectares, Central PSU NTPC and Sarjan Realties Ltd each with 4,750 MW on 9,500 ha, Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Ltd (GSECL) with 3,325 Mw on 6,650 ha and Gujarat Industrial Power Company Ltd (GIPCL) with 2,375Mw on 4750 ha.

The developers at the park have been directed to develop 50 per cent of the capacity in the next three years and 100 per cent in the next five years. It is envisaged to develop 14,000 Mw of RE capacities in the next three years and about 28,000 Mw capacities in the next five years.

After the due process, as per the provisions under the land allotment for large solar/wind or hybrid park policy launched in 2019, the Gujarat government has allocated land to these players based on the 2 ha per Mw ratio.

“The energy generation at the park will not be just for a state but for the whole country. We envisaged to generate energy in a faster way and to achieve this objective, Gujarat’s Chief Minister Vijay Rupani took a special interest in the project to give early clearances,” Patel said.

The Union Ministry of Defence gave its approval for 72,600 ha of land to develop the hybrid renewable energy park having two zones.

First, hybrid park zone, with the wind, solar, energy storage etc, spreading across 49,600 ha, accommodating about 24,800 Mw of capacities. Second, exclusive wind park zone within 1-6 km of border area comprising 23,000 ha, accommodating min 3000 Mw of windmill project.

“Such a mammoth project at a difficult terrain like Kutch border brings many challenges. The first challenge was to facilitate the movement of heavy cranes of 270 tonnes. The bridges and roads right up to the border area have to be specially equipped to withstand the movement of such heavy machines. Also drinking water in these border areas was a major challenge,” Patel said.

Published on December 15, 2020

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