Spread across 350 acre, Welspun Energy recently inaugurated Asia´s and the country´s largest 55 (DC) MW, single-location solar plant in Rajasthan.
Working aggressively towards its future plans to generate a combined capacity of 1.75 GW of solar and wind projects, Welspun Energy Ltd (WEL) recently inaugurated Asia´s and the country´s largest single-location solar PV plant of 55 (DC) MW in Phalodi, Jodhpur district, in Rajasthan.
The company won this project under JNNSM´s Phase-1 Batch 2 bidding process.
Initially, a technical and site selection audit was conducted to finalise the location for the solar plant in Rajasthan. As this project is a ground-mounted utility scale plant, it is equipped with photovoltaic modules that were supplied by Welspun Energy´s subsidiary Welspun Solar AP this company won the bid for the project under JNNSM´s Phase-1 and Batch 2. Vineet Mittal, Managing Director, WEL, says, ´We have been associated with other technology partners who are global leaders in the solar equipment manufacturing space for this project. The usage of quality systems and processes in the solar plant has enabled flawless execution of the solar plant by consistently decreasing its on-ground development cycle.´
Through a consortium of leading financial institutions, long term funding of Rs 355 crore was raised and the balance was funded by equity for this project. This mega solar project will generate 90 millon kWh units of electricity annually and the power generated from the plant is being supplied to the nearest grid from where it is expected to power around 250,000 households in Rajasthan. ´This solar plant has a high plant load factor (PLF) of 26 per cent, a figure much higher compared to projects by other players in the same area,´ adds Mittal. ´The 55 (DC) MW solar project was completed within a time frame of five months well ahead of its scheduled time and was carried out in three stages 15 MW, 15 MW and 20 MW.´
In the renewable energy sector, land acquisition for projects is a common problem. ´The company usually selects areas with a barren tract of land where we can augment social development,´ says Mittal. ´In the case of this project, Rajasthan is blessed with two critical resources that are essential to solar power production: high level of solar radiation per square inch and large amounts of contiguous, relatively flat, undeveloped land. We conducted a technical audit in the area of Phalodi in Rajasthan before finalising the area and undertook the right approach by offering transparent and fair compensations to resolve the issue of acquiring land. This enabled us to avail land quickly in order to develop the project well ahead of the scheduled deadline.´
The project received support from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the Government of Rajasthan. ´Timely development of this mammoth solar project would not have been possible without the support of MNRE and the Government of Rajasthan,´ acknowledges Mittal.
´It has been a success because of the collaborative efforts from all stakeholders, especially NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam, which was the nodal agency during the bidding process.´
The way forward
With the inception of Asia´s and India´s largest single location solar plant, WEL plans to support the state of Rajasthan in achieving its green growth targets. Through this project, it aims to mitigate 83,220 tonne of carbon emissions every year. Mittal concludes, ´If an opportunity presents itself in the future to augment the current plant capacity, we will certainly work towards it and help generate clean energy for fuelling Rajasthan´s carbon-free growth.´
.......................................................... Date of completion: March 2013
Size: 55 (DC) MW
Power plant equipment: Global Tier 1 technology partners and manufacturers
Photovoltaic modules: Welspun Solar AP
Total cost: `473 crore