Pavagada Solar Park
|Pavagada Solar Park|
|Official name||Shakti Sthala|
|Location||Pavagada taluk, Tumkur district, Karnataka|
|Construction began||October 2016|
|Commission date||March 2018|
|Construction cost||₹14,425 crore|
|Owner(s)||Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation Ltd. (KSPDCL)|
|Site resource||5.5-6.0 kWh/m2 per day|
|Site area||13,000 acres (53 km2)|
|Units operational||1,400 MW|
|Units under const.||650 MW on 10 April 2019|
Pavagada Solar Park is a solar park spread over a total area of 13,000 acres (53 km2) in Pavagada taluk, Tumkur district, Karnataka. 600 MW of power was commissioned by 31 January 2018. and a further 1,400 MW are planned. The total investment required to build 2,000 MW of capacity was estimated at ₹14,800 crore (US$2.1 billion). By the end of 2019, the park is planned to have a total capacity of 2,050 MW and will be one of the world's biggest solar farms.
Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) established a joint venture company, the Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation Ltd (KSPDCL), in March 2015 to implement solar power projects in Karnataka. The Chairman of the State High Level Clearance Committee (SLHCC) approved the KSPDCL's proposal to construct a solar power park in Pavagada taluk on 29 October 2015. The project is spread over a total area of 13,000 acres (53 km2) which includes the 5 villages of Balasamudra, Tirumani, Kyataganacharlu, Vallur and Rayacharlu.
Pavagada was chosen as the site for the project due to several reasons. Apart from high solar radiation and availability of land, the region receives very little rainfall. Pavagada taluk is located in a semi-arid tract, atop an elevated plateau surrounded by rocky hills. The region has been declared drought hit by the Karnataka Government 54 times in the past 6 decades. The region is also scarcely populated and most of its residents are poor farmers. Many of the region's residents have migrated to Bangalore, located about 180 km away, for economic reasons.
G.V. Balram, the managing director of KREDL, was born and raised in a village in Pavaguda taluk. He understood that farmers in the region were reluctant to sell their land due to emotional reasons. In order to aid in the development of the region and reduce economic migration, Balram offered farmers the option to lease the land required for the project rather than purchase it outright. Landowners receive an annual payment of ₹21,000 (US$300) per acre under the terms of the lease which is valid for 25–35 years. For the entire land required for the park, the total compensation for the entire project amounts to ₹23-25 crore per year. The annual payment amount will increase by 5% every 2 years.
The KSPDCL utilized the "plug and play" model to implement the project. Under this model, the company acquires blocks of land, obtains all required government approvals for solar power generation, and then awards contracts to solar power developers (SPDs) through auctions. In April 2016, NTPC Limited, on behalf of KSPDCL, awarded contracts to 6 firms for the commissioning of a total of 500 MW of power at the Pavaguda Solar Park. Parampujya Solar Energy Pvt Ltd., Fortum Finnsurya Energy Pvt Ltd., ACME Solar Holdings Pvt Ltd, and Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd were awarded 100 MW each, while Yarrow Infrastructure and Renew Power received 50 MW each. Yarrow Infrastructure quoted the lowest tariff of ₹4.78 (6.9¢ US) per unit, Renew Power quoted the highest (₹4.80), while the other 4 firms quoted a tariff of ₹4.79 per unit.
Work on the solar park began in October 2016.
In March 2017, the NTPC invited bids for 750 MW, split into six blocks of 125 MW each, of solar power capacity at Pavagada.
In May 2018, SB Energy has secured 200 megawatts of capacity at Rs 2.82/kWh, or 4.16¢/kWh offered by SECI.
The most recent letter of award (LoA) was given to Amar Raja Power Systems Limited, to construct 50 MW of capacity at a levelized tariff of ₹1.24 (~$1.7¢)/kWh for 24 years. The reason for the extremely low cost was quoted as 'land being available to KREDL at no cost and the availability of the power evacuation infrastructure up to the sub-station.'
On 14 December 2017, Fortum announced that it had connected a 100MW solar plant at Pavagada to the grid. Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd commissioned 100 MW at the park by 19 December, and an additional 50 MW by 2 January 2018. Pavagada Solar Park had a total commissioned capacity of 1,400 MW by 9 April 2019 out of total 2,050 MW planned by December 2019.
In March 2017, Karnataka Energy Minister DK Shivakumar told the Bangalore Mirror that the government was looking to generate wind energy by setting up windmills in Pavagada. Preliminary estimates from the KREDL indicate a potential wind power generation of 250-300 MW.
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