Rajasthan Solar Plant

The Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has proposed the Department of Economic Affairs for a $500m loan from the World Bank for a planned 4GW solar power project in the state of Rajasthan.

The ministry will use the loan amount to implement the 750MW first phase of the project, which is claimed to be the world’s largest solar power project.

Currently, the DEA is processing the ministry’s proposal, while the World Bank will consider the proposal when it receives the same from the department.

To be spread across 23,000 acres area, including 18,000 acre-bit of Sambhar Salts, a subsidiary of Hindustan Salts, the project titled, ‘Sambhar Ultra-Mega Green Solar Power Project’ is expected to generate around 6,000 million units of electricity annually.

A joint venture of six public sector utilities including Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), Power Grid Corporation of India, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), Hindustan Salts, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments (REIL) will build the first phase.

"The joint venture will move forward with a variety of models to implement the remaining capacity of the project."

As part of the recently signed memorandum of understanding related to the project, BHEL will supply the equipment; Power Grid will evacuate power; SECI will be responsible for selling that electricity; REIL will provide operation and maintenance services, and project management by SJVNL.

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Following completion of the first phase that is expected in 2016, the joint venture will move forward with a variety of models to implement the remaining capacity of the project.

SECI plans to secure a part of finance for the project through viability gap funding from the Ministry of Finance-managed national clean energy fund and the remaining amount through power purchase agreements with power distribution companies.

The project will contribute to the country’s goal to add 20GW grid-connected solar power capacity by 2020 under the ‘Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission’.

Image: Sambhar in Rajasthan state of India to host world’s largest solar power plant. Photo: courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.