In a significant leap towards sustainable energy, the Indian states of Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh have emerged as trailblazers in the implementation of the “Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects” scheme. Launched in December 2014 with an initial capacity of 20,000 MW, the initiative has since been expanded to 40,000 MW in March 2017, aiming to establish at least 50 solar parks across the country by 2023-24. This groundbreaking scheme focuses on providing essential infrastructure to Renewable Energy (RE) developers, expediting the development of utility-scale solar projects.
The primary objective of the solar park initiative is to facilitate RE developers by offering ready-to-use land and transmission infrastructure. This comprehensive support includes the development of crucial elements such as land, roads, power evacuation systems, and water facilities. Furthermore, the scheme streamlines the process by obtaining all necessary statutory clearances and approvals, aiming to create an environment conducive to the rapid development of solar projects on a large scale.
Solar Park Capacities and Progress:
As of November 30, 2023, the scheme has made substantial progress with 50 solar parks sanctioned, boasting a cumulative capacity of 37,490 MW. Among these, 11 parks, with a total capacity of 8,521 MW, have been successfully completed, while 8 parks, totaling 4,910 MW, are partially completed. Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh emerge as leaders in commissioned capacities, with 3,065 MW and 3,050 MW, respectively.
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh are among the states making significant strides in solar park development. These states have been granted approvals for 9 parks (8,276 MW), 8 parks (4,180 MW), 7 parks (3,730 MW), 7 parks (12,150 MW), and 5 parks (4,200 MW), respectively. This demonstrates a widespread commitment to transitioning towards sustainable and renewable energy sources.
Under the solar park scheme, the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to support Detailed Project Reports (DPR) and project milestones. The total Central Grants approved for the scheme amount to ₹8,100 crore, managed by the Solar Energy Corporation of India and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency. This financial assistance plays a crucial role in incentivizing developers and accelerating the growth of solar projects.
Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh’s leadership in solar park capacities highlights the success of India’s ambitious initiative to harness solar energy on a massive scale. As the nation moves towards its renewable energy targets, the collaborative efforts between the government and private developers in providing infrastructure and financial support are proving instrumental. With the continued expansion of solar parks, India is well on its way to achieving a sustainable and greener energy future.