MoU signed for 750 MW Indian PV power plant

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Solar Energy Corporation of India and PSU Urja Vikas Nigam of Madhya Pradesh for the development of a 750 MW solar PV plant.

The joint venture agreement will invite tenders from solar developers, with the winning bid expected to be chosen by April. A 1,500 hectare site for the plant – which will become the single largest PV plant in the world when completed – has already been identified in the Rewa district of the state of Madhya Pradesh, central India, and a completion date of August 2016 has been penciled in.

"The plant will be developed in three segments of 250 MW each," India’s chief secretary for new and renewable energy, SR Mohanty, told the Times of India. "Land acquisition will be over by the end of the month and more than 90% of land for the project is owned by the government."

Rewa district collector Rahul Jain added that there have been no hiccups with the land acquisition, and confirmed that the proposed site is non-agricultural and barren.

The $600 million project is an addition to the long line of proposed ultra-mega solar PV plants that the Indian government is sanctioning across the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Funding for this development will be financed by project loans and is to receive 49% backing from the World Bank at concessional rates, Mohanty confirmed.

India’s government has targeted the installation of 100 GW of solar PV capacity by 2022 in an attempt to tackle pollution and climate change, in addition to plugging the plentiful gaps in the country’s national grid.

Skeptics have claimed that MoU’s signed in the current solar climate may not necessarily evolve into concrete projects, and with distribution losses running to almost 24% nationwide, a more distributed approach to power generation may be the better path to take.