Indian clean energy developer Azure Power has commissioned 150 MW of new solar PV capacity in the country’s state of Punjab as part of the Punjab Energy Development Agency’s (PEDA) Solar Policy Phase III scheme.
The project is comprised of three 50 MW solar plants located across 713 acres of land in the state, and has been completed at a weighted average tariff of INR 5.63/kWh ($0.085/kWh). The power produced on site will be supplied by Azure Power to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited via a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
According to Azure Power, the Punjab project was completed ahead of schedule and to the benefit of 1,000 additional jobs in the locality. Nearby areas will be electrified thanks to the plant’s commissioning, and the local community will benefit from a “discretionary long term cash flow” as a result of Azure Power’s leasing of the project land.
“We are pleased to have started 2017 with the early commissioning of our largest project,” said Azure Power CEO and founder Inderpreet Wadhwa. “We continue to demonstrate our strong project development, engineering and execution capabilities, and are delighted to make this contribution towards realizing [Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s] commitments towards clean and green energy.”
Azure Power now has a 225 MW solar portfolio in the state of Punjab – the most of any developer. State-by-state solar analysis conducted late last year by Mercom Capital Group ranked Punjab the seventh-strongest state for solar in India, with a cumulative installed capacity of 569 MW and a pipeline – including this latest Azure Power project – of 453 MW.
According to Mercom Capital, Punjab’s largely rural makeup has deterred some distribution companies (DISCOMs) from purchasing relatively expensive solar energy to provide subsidized power to farmers. However, the state remains one of a handful of drivers behind India’s impressive solar growth, as does Azure Power itself.