Global funds for India’s aggressive plan to install “ultra mega solar power plants” have begun to flow with the World Bank ready to support a 750 MW power plant, which is likely to become the largest solar power plant in the world. The project would require a total investment of about ₹8,000 crore ($1.3 billion).
One of the first ultra mega solar power projects India plans to establish has received a pledge of financing support from the World Bank, the Indian media reported this week. The solar power plant will have an installed capacity of 750 MW, 200 MW more than the current largest solar power plant in the world, and will be located in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is expected to be among the first to receive financial support from the current government, which allocated a ₹1,000 crore ($167 million) package for UMPPs in the FY2014-15 budget.
India’s largest power-generating company, NTPC Limited, recently signed an agreement with the Madhya Pradesh government to set up the power plant. The company stated it would invite bids for procurement of solar photovoltaic modules from domestic as well as international manufacturers but will request foreign companies to manufacture modules in India.
All projects commissioned in India in the form of ultra mega solar power plants (UMPPs) under the aegis of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) and through government-owned companies are expected to source domestically manufactured solar PV modules. This would be done to support Indian module manufacturers in lieu of the government’s decision not to impose anti-dumping duties on imported modules. A total of 25 UMPPs each with a minimum generation capacity of 500 MW will be commissioned in India over the next five years.
NTPC Limited has been chosen to set up a number of such UMPPs. The company has a pipeline of 3.5 GW of solar power capacity. It will set up UMPPs in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Odisha, in addition to the project in Madhya Pradesh. Other government-owned companies are also expected to be tasked with setting up similar projects in other states.