India, France set up UP’s biggest solar plant

The biggest solar power plant in Uttar Pradesh, alloted through an auction under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s Solar Park Scheme, was set up by French power utility Engie

March 12, 2018

The plant, built at an investment of over US$81 million, has power generation capacity of 75 MW; The facility will generate 130 million units of electricity per annum

The electricity generated by the project will be supplied by ENGIE at the rate of 7 US cents per unit for a period of 25 years - lower than conventional electricity sources

The MNRE has approved setting up of four solar parks in Uttar Pradesh with total power capacity of 440 MW to be developed by the Lucknow Solar Park Development Corp

On March 11, India and France co-hosted the first formal summit of the International Solar Alliance, which aims to invest over US$1 trillion into 1,000 GW of solar capacity

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated Uttar Pradesh’s biggest solar power plant in Mirzapur on March 12. The plant, built at an investment of over US$81 million, has power generation capacity of 75 MW. The facility will generate 130 million units of electricity per annum. The plant, alloted through an auction under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) Solar Park Scheme, was set up by French energy utility Engie SA. The viability gap funding (VGF) provided by the Indian Government for the solar project was at a rate of more than US$110,000 per MW. The electricity generated by the project will be supplied by ENGIE at the rate of 7 US cents per unit for a period of 25 years – lower than conventional electricity sources.

The MNRE has previously approved setting up of four solar parks in Uttar Pradesh with total power generation capacity of 440 MW. These solar parks are being developed up by Lucknow Solar Park Development Corp (LSPDC), which is a joint venture of Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI) and Non-conventional Energy Development Agency (NEDA) under the Uttar Pradesh State Government. While a 50 MW solar power plant has already come up in Allahabad, another 40 MW facility is ready for commissioning in the state’s Jalaun district.  With the inauguration of 75 MW power plant in Mirzapur by the Prime Minister, the total capacity of solar power plants in Uttar Pradesh has gone up to 165 MW. Meanwhile, biddings for 225 MW solar power plants will be open on April 12th, 2018.

Ahead of the power plant’s inauguration, PM Modi and President Macron had co-hosted the first formal summit of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on March 11th in New Delhi. The ISA is plurilateral platform of more than 120 partner nations to promote development of solar energy projects worldwide. Representatives of 61 countries along with the Heads of States from 21 countries attended the conference. The ISA aims to mobilise investment of over US$1 trillion from public and private sources that will help it instal more than 1,000 GW of solar generation capacity worldwide by 2030. India has set up an ambitious target of setting up of 100,000 MW solar power plants in the country by 2022.  At the current rate of project launching, India is touted to reach its target ahead of schedule.

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