IT is a unique project in itself. It will not only be the world’s largest single-location 4,000-MW ultra mega solar power project, but as many as six state-owned PSUs have come together to set up the project in Rajasthan. The project will spread across 19,000 acres at Sambhar in Rajasthan...and will entail an investment of Rs 7,500 crore in the first phase. A special purpose vehicles (SPV) in the form of a joint venture company would be set up for the project. The first phase of 1,000 MW is planned to be set up in about three years. The other 3,000 MW will be set up in subsequent phases. The MoU among the six PSUs was signed by B Prasada Rao, CMD, BHEL; Rajendra Nimde, MD, SECI; RK Tandon, CMD, SSL; RN Nayak, CMD, Powergrid; RP Singh, CMD, SJVN and AK Jain, CMD, REIL. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) will need to get the approval of the Cabinet.
The JV company will have equity participation of 26 percent from BHEL, 23 percent from SECI (Solar Energy Corporation of India), 16 percent from SSL (Sambhar Salt Ltd), 16 percent from Power Grid, 16 percent from SJVNL (Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam) and three percent from REIL (Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Ltd).
The project will be set up on surplus land available with SSL in Sambhar. Whereas the equipment will be supplied by BHEL, power evacuation infrastructure will be put up by PGICL, sale of electricity would be done by SECI, operation and maintenance by REIL and project management by SJVNL. The project will be developed in different phases in seven to eight years.
The idea for setting up the solar project was conceived in August last year and after five months a MoU was signed last week in New Delhi.
The solar PV (photo-voltaic) power plant will use PV modules based on crystalline silicon technology and with an estimated life of 25 years, the solar plant can supply 6,400 million units of energy per year. It eco-friendly project will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 4 million tonnes per year.
The government is considering a tariff of Rs 5.50 per unit of solar power generated for this project, which is the lowest ever tariff for solar power in the country, which is expected to be the benchmark reference tariff for the upcoming phase of the national solar mission as well. The current cost of solar power is around Rs 7 per unit. The project is expected to bring down the cost of solar power further.