Adani brings online 648 MW solar plant in India

Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises has commissioned a 648 MW solar farm in southern Indian that it claims is the world’s largest PV plant to be located on a single site.

The installation, built at an investment cost of INR 45.5 billion ($679 million), is located at Kamuthi, in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram region, and is now connected to a single 400 kv substation belonging to Tantransco. By this metric, says Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani, it is the largest single solar plant in operation.

"This is a momentous occasion for Tamil Nadu as well as for the entire country," said the chairman. "We are happy to dedicate this plant to the nation. A plant of this magnitude reinstates the country’s ambitions of becoming one of the leading green energy producers in the world."

Tamil Nadu’s state solar goals under the National Solar Mission (NSM) are for 3 GW of solar PV capacity. With this plant online, the state is now more than two-thirds of the way towards its goal.

For Adani, the completion of the project comes as something of a relief. According to Mercom Capital, 288 MW of the total capacity was held back by evacuation delays, and exacerbated by the state of Tamil Nadu’s acute power difficulties and a trend for utilities opting to purchase cheaper power on the exchanges rather than opt for solar at INR 7 ($0.1045)/kWh for solar PV.

As a result, up to 50% of solar power generated by Adani has been curtailed in the state.

A pending legal case between Adani and Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) is muddying the waters further, with both parties unable to settle upon a tariff rate. For now, Mercom Capital says, the developer will be receiving a tariff of INR 7.1 per unit, but state distribution company, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO), has reduced the tariff to INR 5.1 per unit for solar projects commissioned after March 31 this year.

Adani is also currently working on the construction of a 1.2 GW solar fab in the state of Gujarat, with phase one expected to be completed by March next year. A second phase, which will take the fab’s cell and module capacity to 2 GW, is due to finished by June 2017.