India’s largest solar power park, in Karnataka, will witness a re-tendering of 200 megawatts of capacity shortly.
The tender was first issued in July 2017 but was withdrawn the following month. The tender was floated to auction 200 megawatts of capacity in blocks of 50 megawatts each. The solar power park at Pavagada was planned by the Solar Energy Corporation of India in partnership with the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited.
Karnataka will procure electricity generated from the solar power park through long-term power purchase agreements of 25 years. The solar power park will have an eventual installed capacity of 2,700 megawatts.
Some of the leading solar power developers are already working on projects allocated to them in earlier auctions. Adani Power and Tata Power Solar each are developing 150 megawatts, Acme Solar and Fortum are working on 100 megawatts each while Arrow Solar and ReNew Power are working on 50 megawatts of capacity each. The total of 600 megawatts of capacity is expected to be operational by December of this year.
The power generated from these solar power projects will be bundled with thermal power generated from coal-fired power plants owned by NTPC Limited. So, while these six developers placed bids of around Rs 4.80/kWh (7.3¢/kWh), the power distribution companies that will purchase the electricity will pay Rs 3.30/kWh (5.51¢/kWh) for the bundled electricity.
The region that hosts this solar power park has been facing drought for several years now. The government is looking to support the local population through economic development. For this, Rs 200 million ($3 million) will be collected from the project developers. The fund will be used to establish schools, health centers, roads and other basic infrastructure in the region.