The utility of Indian state Maharashtra – the Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) – is eyeing the development of up to 2 GW of new solar power capacity, having last week invited an expression of interest for solar developers and EPCs to build a raft of solar projects in the state.
The headline call is for the construction of a 500 MW solar PV plant in Dondaicha, while a further 1.5 GW of PV capacity could be added right across the state in a series of small solar farms located at agriculture feeder installations.
The aim of the latter project is to solarize Maharashtra’s agricultural sector, helping to deliver more reliable power and lower energy costs to this vital segment of the state’s economy.
According to MAHAGENCO”s expression of interest, developers would be invited to construction solar plants ranging from 2 MW to 50 MW as part of this solarization drive, which Mercom Capital Group calculates will make a big dent in the fulfilling the state’s renewable purchase obligation (RPO) if fully commissioned. Maharashtra’s RPO has been fixed at 12.5% for 2017-18, of which 2% must be derived from solar. These figures rise to 13.75% and 2.75% respectively next financial year. If the state can commission all 2 GW of this proposed solar capacity, it will be of huge financial benefit for MAHAGENCO, Mercom Capital believes.
MAHAGENCO has met with interested developers, EPC contractors and investors to explore opportunities for developing the proposed 500 MW Dondaicha solar farm, which would be among the biggest in India if commissioned.