Indian PV pipeline soars past 22 GW

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India’s power minister Piyush Goyal has announced that more than 22 GW of new solar PV capacity has been agreed across the country as part of Batch I and Batch II of Phase I of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

There will also be new grid connected PV projects coming online under Batch I, Phase II of the JNNSM as the program powers ahead with its solar deployment goals.

A total of 12 Indian states will share this new 22 GW load, which is to include a 7.5 GW solar PV plant that will be developed in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Additional large-scale projects will also be developed in Gujarat, Madhya, Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Odisha.

In total, there will be 25 new solar parks added under the JNNSM scheme over the next five years, all of which will be larger than 500 MW. In Gujarat, land has already been identified for the creation of a 750 MW PV plant in the Banaskantha district, while Madhya Pradesh officials have put forward proposals for a 1.5 GW project in the state’s Rewa district.

A further 1 GW plant is planned for Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh has announced that it will develop a 2.5 GW project, which will be the third-largest single PV plant under this latest round of development after the 7.5 GW plant in Jammu and Kashmir and a proposed 3.7 GW project for Rajasthan.

"The ministry has sent scheme for the development of solar parks to various states along with MoUs to all the state governments against which 12 states have given consent for setting up solar parks," Goyal told local media at the weekend.

India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently determined that the country’s solar power potential could stand as high as 750 GW should the entire nation’s potential be fully realized.

Rajasthan alone could develop a PV portfolio of 142 GW, said MNRE, followed by Jammu & Kashmir (111 GW), Madhya Pradesh (60 GW) and Gujarat (36 GW).

Development of India’s vast solar potential depends upon a number of variables, MNRE warned, including the ability of each state to properly develop its wasteland (brownfield) sites. Agricultural states such as Punjab, for example, will find it increasingly difficult to identify suitable tracts of land for solar development.

Currently, India’s cumulative installed solar PV capacity stands at a little over 3 GW. The JNNSM target of 22 GW by 2022 focuses largely on the development of these aforementioned “ultra-mega” installations of 500 MW or more.