Over 1 GW of solar proposals put forth in India to power irrigation


Solar projects in India are coming from all angles and in all different shapes and sizes, and all to try and meet the country’s ambitious target of having 100 GW of solar installed by 2022. The most recent proposals have come in to have solar replace over 1 GW of power from conventional sources, which is used for irrigation projects.

The combined 1,067 MW of power generation is located in five states, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. Of these, Telangana makes up the vast majority of the proposed solar capacity, with a full 1,000 MW. Uttar Pradesh is second with 60 MW, then there is Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh with 4 MW and 2 MW respectively, then Bihar with just 0.8 MW.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) invited all India’s states to submit proposals to replace conventional power projects with solar, but only those five states chose to do so. The MNRE has now asked for those states to submit a Letter of Intent by 14 October, reports Mercom Capital.

The reason that power projects, which principally supply irrigation projects, were chosen is because irrigation does not need a 24-hour power supply, thus navigating some of the standard concerns aimed at solar energy. Telangana entered such a large amount of capacity to be replaced, as it also has a number of new irrigation projects in the pipeline. All of the solar capacity will be auctioned within tenders.

Other solar auction news coming out of the country is that India’s largest electricity generator, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), has invited bids for 250 MW of solar capacity in the Pavagada Solar Park in Karnataka. Five 50 MW projects make up the tender, with each needing to meet domestic content requirements by using domestically manufactured PV cells and modules. State-owned utility NTPC plans to finance the projects.