With states like Madhya Pradesh making rapid strides in solar energy generation, more than four ultra mega solar power plants can come up in the country, according to Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

“Our objective is to bring down the cost of solar energy to Rs.5.50 per unit, and this can only be possible through ultra mega solar power plants. We already have finalised plans for four locations, and now with states like Madhya Pradesh coming up rapidly, we can set up more such plants,” Mr. Kapoor said. Each of these plants will have capacity of 4,000 MW, and are being implemented under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

He said that the first ultra mega solar plant would come up near Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan, followed by the second one in Gujarat.

Two more such plants would come up at Kargil and Ladhak with a capacity of 2,000 MW and 5,000 MW, respectively.

“The first phase (1,000 MW) of the Rajasthan ultra mega plant will be ready for commissioning in three years. The basics of this phase is to be in place in three months, and it is being set up through the EPC route through a joint venture of six public sector companies led by BHEL. For the balance 3,000 MW capacity, we will invite tenders from five or six developers who could take up projects of 500 MW each,” Mr. Kapoor said at Intersolar India, an industry summit, here.

“We have not finalised the model for the plant in Gujarat but land has been allotted. We have identified land for the projects in Kargil and Ladhak where solar radiation is the best,” he added.

Madhya Pradesh, on Monday, announced that the largest solar plant in the country had come up in the state eight months ahead of schedule. From a mere 2 MW capacity in April 2012, the State would reach 2,000 MW capacity by 2015.

“Through our unique solar policy, we have attracted developers from all over. India’s largest solar project, the 130 MW AC and 151 MW DC, is now commissioned at Diken village in Neemuch. We wanted to do it and then announce,” said SR Mohanty, Principal Secretary, Madhya Pradesh.

“In the last quarter, a total of 191 MW solar capacity came up. Out of that, 153 MW came up in Madhya Pradesh, thus we had 80 per cent of the share,” Mr. Mohanty said.