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MNRE plans to develop 15GW solar UMPPs in India

MNRE plans to set up 15GW ultra mega power projects for solar worth INR 900bn (USD 14.1bn) in north-west India

Solar power project
India’s MNRE plans to establish UMPPs with capacity to generate 15,000MW of solar power

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has plans to establish four solar ultra mega power projects (UMPPs) with the capacity to generate 15,000MW of solar power in the country, Business Standard has reported. The UMPPs which are estimated to cost INR 900bn (USD 14.1bn) will be located at Sambhar (4,000MW) in Rajasthan, Khargoda (4,000MW) in Gujarat and, Ladakh (5,000MW) and Kargil (2,000MW) in Jammu & Kashmir.

The Indian government has already initiated work for the solar UMPP in Sambhar. According to Business Standard, Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary at MNRE, said: “The one (UMPP) in Rajasthan would be developed on an engineering procurement and construction (EPC) basis. For this, public undertakings Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), Solar Energy Corporation of India, Power Grid, Hindustan Salt and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments will form a joint venture company.”

The state-owned power plant equipment manufacturer BHEL is expected to supply solar panels for the Sambhar project.

The Economic Times quoted Kapoor said, at the Inter solar India conference: "The land will come from over 18,000 acres in possession of Hindustan Salts near the Sambhar Lake.”

He added: "We will also be getting viability gap funding for this to the extent of INR 10,000m (USD 156.9m). But this will taper going forward in the next phases. Solar Energy Corporation will be sole authority to sell the power produced from the project.” He said the entire solar power project is expected to be completed in seven years.

With regard to other projects, Kapoor said: “Hindustan Salts has some land in Khargoda and we will start work on it after seeing the success of the first project, maybe in the next year. We have identified cold desert locations in Ladakh and Kargil too, but we are yet to acquire land.”