GGGI to Build 250 MW Solar Plant Along Mumbai-Nagpur Superhighway

With its rapid economic growth and increasing demand for energy services, India is well-placed to invest more in clean, cheap reliable sources of energy, particularly in the solar sector. However, this potential remains largely untapped. The Indian government has set a goal of 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity by 2022, but it had only installed 34 GW by mid-2020.

In response to this issue, South Korea-based the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is developing a 250 MW solar PV plant for the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) along a 700 km superhighway to connect Mumbai with Nagpur. This project is expected to lay the foundation for future e-mobility and energy requirements for developments along the highway.

GGGI is a treaty-based intergovernmental organisation that promotes sustainable economic growth in developing nations. In 2018, it formalised a partnership with MSRDC to support the superhighway project. In the collaboration, GGGI has provided technical assistance, investment due diligence and supported debt structuring for the project. Based on GGGI analysis, REC Limited has sanctioned a loan of circa USD110 million for the project. The MSRDC board has approved up to 25% of equity investment for the project. The project is currently under Power Purchase Agreement discussions and the project will break ground in mid-2022.

“This is the first renewable energy program, that is aligned with a large road infrastructure project in India. GGGI has played a significant role in setting the foundation and paving the way for future green e-mobility infrastructure on the highway,” shared Gulshan Vashistha, GGGI’s Regional Technical Lead for Asia and the Pacific.

Additionally, GGGI led the preparation of the technical and commercial studies, including the land assessment, grid study, environmental and social impact assessments, and detailed financial model that demonstrated a convincing business case for evaluating solar PV options. Beyond the design stage, GGGI secured finance for the project.

The expected longer-term impact of this project is to reduce CO2 emissions by 10 million tons during the project’s 25‐year lifetime and create approximately 200 green jobs. This project will pave the path for MSRDC’s additional plan to construct charging stations on the superhighway.

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