The Adani Group has signed a power purchase agreement with the Tamil Nadu government to set up a 200-MW solar power plant in Ramanathapuram at an investment of nearly Rs.1,400 crore, according to TANGEDCO officials.
The group had been in discussion with the State government to set up a 1,000-MW solar plant in the State.
“The agreement to set up a 200-MW plant was signed a couple of days back and the investment in the project will be about Rs. 6.5 crore–Rs. 7 crore per MW,” the official said.
The company is likely to stagger the investment and commission the 1,000-MW plant in phases. Officials at Adani Group were not available for comment.
The investment comes at a time when Tamil Nadu’s ambitious plan to commission about 3,000 MW of solar energy by 2015 has not fructified with the State’s total grid connected solar power achieving a mere 5 per cent of its goal in the past three years.
The State government in 2012 unveiled a ‘Solar Energy Policy’ that envisaged generation of 1,000 MW every year for three years through ‘utility scale projects’, rooftops and Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) schemes.
TANGEDCO recently signed power purchase agreements for 631 MW, which will have to be commissioned by March 2016, the official said. “A load flow study has also found it feasible to commission another 2,200 MW,” the official said.
As per data released by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Tamil Nadu ranks seventh in terms of total commissioned solar capacity till May this year, contributing just about 3.8 per cent of the total capacity of 3.88 GW.
Rajasthan and Gujarat lead the pack.
High solar radiation
“Rajasthan has the natural advantage of the highest amount of solar radiation . It also has a lot of arid land, and land cost there is relatively cheap. The government has also created land banks. Many of the bidders for projects under the MNRE scheme opt to bid for Rajasthan,” according to Madhavan Nampoothiri, Founder & Director, RESolve Energy Consultants.