As India chases to meet the solar power installation target of 100 gigawatts decided by the government by 2022, this is definitely a good time to review the advancements in the solar power among the states. The southern states are moving ahead at a great pace in terms of the solar power installations at the end of first quarter of 2018, outpacing states like Gujarat and Rajasthan. Karnataka is one such southern state leading in the front in 2018 and is likely to remain at that position for some more time while other states maneuvering up the list as the year passes.
The solar photovoltaic (PV) installed capacity of Karnataka crossed the mark of 5 gigawatts in March 2018 making it India’s top solar PV state. Karnataka has continued to work at a dynamic speed in the commissioning of solar projects so far in 2018. If we consider a bifurcated figure of the total solar power production in the state in 2017-18, Karnataka installed more than 2 gigawatts of solar PV capacity in 2017 and the somewhat similar installation till the first quarter of 2018. The growth of 2 gigawatts in 2017 was the result of the commissioning of 1.5 gigawatts solar projects formulated under the Karnataka’s solar policy and also the solar projects commissioned under the National Solar Mission with the capacity of 600 megawatts.
These developments in the state are observed during the last two years after the establishment of Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker in 2016. Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker is a comprehensive tracker maintaining databases of all the large-scale projects in India. It covers commissioned as well as under-development projects since the inception of the National Solar Mission. While talking to Mercom about the solar capacity developments in Karnataka, an official from the Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation Limited (KSPDCL) said, “In the Pavagada Solar Park, 600MW has been installed, another 550MW have been awarded, and the infrastructure development is also happening at a satisfactory pace. Capacity additions at Pavagada Solar Park will further add to the installed capacity of the state.”
Pavagada Solar Park – Pavagada Solar Park is located in the Pavagada tehsil of Karnataka. Covering a total area of 13,000 acres. The power of 600 megawatts was already commissioned by 31st January 2018 and a further power of 1,400 megawatts is planned by the end of 2020. The total investment required to build 2,000 megawatts capacity was approximated at Rs. 14,800 crores. After the final installation of the total capacity of 2,000 megawatts, this will become the world’s biggest solar farm.
The other following states marking their place in the solar power production in India are-
Telangana- This state has an installed power capacity of 3.2 gigawatts. It also has a development pipeline of approximately 200 megawatts of solar projects.
Rajasthan- Rajasthan has installed nearly 2.3 gigawatts of power capacity. It also has a notable development pipeline of about 1.5 gigawatts.
Andhra Pradesh- Andhra Pradesh has installed 2.3 gigawatts of solar projects and there is also a development pipeline of more than 600 megawatts of solar projects.
Tamil Nadu- Tamil Nadu currently has 1.8 gigawatts of installed solar capacity. There is also a massive project development pipeline comprising of more than 2 gigawatts.
Gujarat– Gujarat has nearly 1.4 gigawatts of solar projects installed in the state. A project development pipeline of more than 0.5 gigawatts.
Madhya Pradesh- Madhya Pradesh also has installed solar projects of about 1.3 gigawatts and there are other 1-gigawatt projects currently in the development pipeline.
Maharashtra– Currently, Maharashtra has 1.1 gigawatts of installed solar projects and also has a solar project of 350 megawatts in the development pipeline.
Punjab- Punjab has attained an installed power capacity of 810 megawatts and has a very meager development pipeline of solar projects.
Uttar Pradesh- Uttar Pradesh has just 635 megawatts of installed solar capacity. There is also a project development pipeline of nearly 300 megawatts.