Govt’s solar park plan a lifeline
The government’s decision to double solar park capacity to 40,000 megawatts (MW) in three years has opened up a new business opportunity worth up to Rs20,000 crore for power transmission companies.
Adding new 50 ultra-mega solar parks to the 34 under construction in 21 states, as decided by the cabinet on 22 February, will need to significantly widen the green energy corridor—the transmission network for the solar parks—an official at Solar Energy Corp. of India, a state-owned company in charge of implementing various solar power projects, said.
The ongoing Rs13,000-crore green energy corridor-II project connecting the 34 parks under construction and new transmission projects will be identified keeping in mind the location of the new parks, said the official, requesting anonymity.
According to I.S. Jha, chairman and managing director of Power Grid Corp. Ltd, which prepared the road map for the green energy corridor-II, not all the proposed new solar parks may come up at new locations and many could be in the solar and land resource rich states such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, where such parks are already operating.
“The required additional transmission capacity may be a mix of inter-state and intra-state. In the case of a new solar park, generally, the cost of transmission comes to Rs50 lakh to Rs1 crore per MW, depending on location,” said Jha.
Under the green energy corridor project-II, 32 transmission projects—Rs8,041 crore of inter-state networks and Rs4,745 crore of intra-state network—are being constructed.