A PVBuzz Special Breaking Report:
The Indian solar market has started experiencing strong growth with the announcement of a plan to install a series of mega watts of solar energy plants in the country.
Backed by the World Bank, a 750 mega watt (mw) solar power plant–the worlds largest–a project that would require a total investment of about ₹8,000 crore ($1.3 billion), will be constructed in Rewa district’s Gudh area.
The World Bank will provide 50% soft loan for setting up the ‘ultra mega solar power project’. The rest will come from a joint venture of state funds.
“A World Bank team has already visited Gudh and confirmed land for commissioning the project,” India’s Madhya Pradesh Energy and Mining Minister Rajendra Shukla told reporters.
News reports indicate that NTPC Limited, the country’s largest power-generating company, already grabbed an agreement with the Madhya Pradesh government to get the power plant started.
The company plans to open a bidding process for procurement of solar PV modules of domestic origin but also stated that they would welcome options for international manufacturers to provide theirs on condition that they manufacture these modules in India.
Tremendous support for solar power from the current Indian government, particularly the relatively new prime minister, Narendra Modi, is critical to this solar power growth. However, the increasingly low cost of solar power is also an essential factor.
India’s emergence as a new frontier for solar power has turned it into a key market for solar power developers. Plummeting prices and a push by the government have made solar energy a viable option in the sun-drenched country.
Today, solar has almost become very affordable in India with solar power projects offering electricity rates that are even lower than natural gas and coal–and offering to lock in prices for a couple of decades or so. With all this, there has never been a better time for solar in India.