India: Solar capacity passes 5 GW, 750 MW project receives IFC support

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India’s solar market has gone from fledgling to leading in a matter of months under the government’s plans to install 100 GW by FY 2021-2022. According to an official release by the government, cumulative capacity reached 5.130 GW in January, of which 1.385 GW was installed in FY 2015-2016.

Overall, 2 GW is on track to be installed in the current FY, while 2016-17 is targeting an ambitious 12 GW. The government adds that around 18 GW of solar tenders will be out by this coming March 31. Leading the solar charge is the state of Rajasthan, with 1.264 GW installed, followed by Gujarat at 1.024 GW and Madhya Pradesh at 679 MW.

In a recent industry note, Bridge to India wrote that growth of 140% is expected in India’s utility-scale solar PV segment, with 4.8 GW set to be commissioned in the calendar year 2016. 2015 saw 2 GW installed. It, like Mercom Capital Group, remains unconvinced the government’s targets will be achieved under the current policies, which include the recently announced US$750 million scheme to connect 4.2 GW of rooftop solar PV by 2019-20.

World’s biggest

In related news, the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group has said it will support installation of the 750 MW Rewa ultra-mega solar power project in the state of Madhya Pradesh which, to date, has an installed capacity of just 679 MW. When complete, the project will be the biggest of its kind in the world.

In a statement released, the IFC said it is working with the Indian Government on the project. It aims to help attract private investments totaling around $750 million. "IFC’s work … will be supported by its partnership with Department of Foreign Trade, Government of Australia," read the statement.

It added that roughly 1,300 hectares of land have been made available for the project, and that Power Grid Corporation Limited is constructing a transmission substation within the project boundary.

Madhya Pradesh Urja Vika Nigam Limited (MPUVN) and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) created a joint venture company, Rewa Ultra-Mega Solar Power Limited, to implement the project. The two signed an MOU last February to invite tenders from solar developers.

No details were released on when construction is expected to begin, or when it is hoped the project will be online. pv magazine has contacted the relevant parties for more details.