India’s efforts to add green energy to its power grid are continuing.
Solar power will play a major role in the efforts to add renewable energy. India has embarked on the creation of Ultra Mega Solar Power Plants (UMSPPs).
The World Bank has agreed to bankroll support of one such UMSPP, a 750-megawatt power plant in the central province of Madhya Pradesh. This project, say experts, has the potential to become the world’s largest solar power plant. When fully functional, it has the potential of generating 200 MW more than the world’s largest plant in California. It requires a total investment of about US $1.3 billion (Rs 8,000 crore).
India`s largest power-generating company, NTPC Limited, had recently signed an agreement with the Madhya Pradesh Government to set up the power plant. Domestic and international companies are being asked to bid for the supply of solar photovoltaic modules for this project.
The Indian Government is likely to set up a total of 25 UMPPs each with a minimum generation capacity of 500 MW. They will be commissioned all over India over the next 5 years. At present though, India adds about 1 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity every year through freestanding and building-integrated crystalline silicon photovoltaic panels.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet has cleared the way for setting up 25 UMSPPs. The UMSPPs, scheduled to be set up by 2019, will receive central government financial support of about $649 million.
The UMSPPs, also known as “Solar Parks” will be zones of development for solar power generation projects. They will provide specialized services to attract investment including land, roads, water, security, and communication.
MetalMiner had earlier reported that the new Indian government was very serious about renewable energy. It aims to invest $1 billion into renewable energy in the coming few years, and it has raised its 2022 solar power capacity target from 22 GW to 100 GWs.
India is already working on a global plan to form an association of countries with high solar power potential. The aim is to lower the cost of solar energy production. What India has proposed is to bring together at least 56 countries with over than 300 days of good solar radiation.
The author, Sohrab Darabshaw, contributes an Indian perspective on industrial metals markets to MetalMiner.