Solar Energy Corporation plans to set up 1,000 MW solar power plant in India

Yhe thinking in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Corporation is for the newly set up Solar Energy Corporation to put up a 1,000-MW solar power park in the country.

Business Line has heard from industry sources that the MNRE is thinking in terms of mandating local content for projects that would be set up in the solar power park, while those come up elsewhere would not have any such restrictions. Asked about this, Mr Kapur just said that various ideas were being discussed in the Ministry.

The Solar Energy Corporation is a not-for-profit, “Section 25” company, formed for the purpose of taking forward the objectives of the National Solar Mission, from the second phase onwards.

The recently concluded phase-I was handled by the public sector NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVN), which is also the buyer of the power produced by the ‘Phase-I solar plants’.

A question facing the policy makers is whether or not to mandate local manufacture.

Engendering local solar manufacturing industry is an objective of the Solar Mission. Mandating local content has cost implications that impact projects coming up; on the other hand, without any such mandating, developers would only import plants and no local industry would develop.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that except for Sujana Towers, all the other (19) solar power developers who won projects in the second round (Batch II) of the National Solar Mission, have signed power purchase agreements with the buyer of the power, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd. The deadline for signing of the PPAs was January 27.

In the case of Sujana Towers, which won the right to put up a 10-MW plant in southern Tamil Nadu (incidentally, the State’s only one), some “clarifications have been sought”, Mr Kapur said. Projects worth 350 MW were bid out in the Batch II of the first phase of the Solar Mission.