NTPC to build 750 MW solar project in Madhya Pradesh

Indian state-run electric utility NTPC is planning to invest close to $1 billion in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Speaking with India’s Business Standard, NTPC Chairman Arup Roy Choudhury said the company would invest INR 5,000 crore ($820.4 million) in a solar power plant in the Madhya Pradesh district of Rewa over the next few years.

Choudhury said the company was establishing a 750 MW solar power plant in Rewa budgeted at more than $820 million and had already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the project. The company’s total investment will be in phases since it will complete the project in three tranches of 250 MW each, Choudhury told the newspaper.

The company is expected to call for domestic commercial bidding for the supply of 250 MW of PV cells for the project in an effort to support country’s solar industry, with the remaining 500 MW of modules to be provided by foreign suppliers.

NTPC is currently in discussions with the state government to secure land for the project, the chairman added.

Choudhury said the company was targeting a total solar capacity of 3.5 GW in the next few years, of which 1 GW would be installed in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Rajasthan. Madhya Pradesh is aiming to install more than 2 GW of solar power in the next few years, according to the Business Standard.

Indian energy minister Piyush Goyal has strongly pushed solar for the country, saying recently that India’s previous goal of installing 20 GW of PV by 2022 was too conservative.

"This target will be smashed," Goyal said. "It will be much, much larger. I think for India to add 10 GW a year of solar, and six, seven or eight of wind every year is not difficult to envisage."