The Pavagada Solar Park, a showpiece project for the Government of Karnataka as well as the International Solar Alliance (ISA) for its massive capacity (2050 MW) and the way it managed all stakeholders including land owners, has just reached another milestone. Industry sources say that Avaada Energy has commissioned 100 MW at the park, taking the total to 1850 MW for the solar park as a whole.
The solar park, spread over a total area of 13,000 acres in Pavagada taluk in Tumkur district of Karnataka has seen good progress being made, with 600 MW of power commissioned by 31 January 2018. And 1,400 MW by 9 April 2019. With a total plan of 2050 MW, total investments of close to Rs 15,000 crores were expected to be made by the time the park reaches full capacity, by the end of 2019. That will make it one of the world’s biggest solar farms.
As of now, the remaining capacity that is expected to come on stream by the end of the year is from Avaada and Softbank(SB Energy), with both seemingly on target to get there.
For those who missed the excitement around the park when it first started off, the KSPDCL( Karnataka state Power Development Corporation) utilized the “plug and play” model in one of its earliest uses for this project. . Under this model, KSPDCL acquired blocks of land, obtained all required government approvals for solar power generation, and then awarded contracts to solar power developers through auctions. In April 2016, NTPC Limited, on behalf of KSPDCL, awarded contracts to 6 firms for the commissioning of a total of 500 MW of power at the Solar Park. Parampujya Solar Energy Pvt Ltd., Fortum Finnsurya Energy Pvt Ltd., ACME Solar Holdings Pvt Ltd, and Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd were awarded 100 MW each, while Yarrow Infrastructure and Renew Power received 50 MW each. Yarrow Infrastructure quoted the lowest tariff of ₹4.78 per unit, Renew Power quoted the highest (₹4.80), while the other 4 firms quoted a tariff of ₹4.79 per unit. Subsequent auctions saw yet more developers join, including Avaada and bigger parcels for ReNew, which commissioned 300MW back in April this year. A time, and prices that will be remembered fondly by almost all developers and the broader sector now.
In May 2018, SB Energy had secured 200 megawatts of capacity at Rs 2.82/kWh, offered by SECI, which is possibly among the last bits pending.
With both development and supporting infra work almost complete, early next year, the numbers from Pavada in terms of total generation should make for very interesting reading for all.