Energy minister DK Shivakumar

Energy minister DK Shivakumar

A solar power project in Pavagada in central southern India is set to be the world’s largest, according to the country’s energy minister.

DK Shivakumar has suggested that the plant, with published plans to cover five square kilometres and generate 2 GW of power, could ultimately generate some 5 GW of power.

Shivakumar said, “We have already acquired 1,200 acres of land for setting up the plant and the work will start soon. Once it is commissioned, the power problem being faced by the state will be eased to a great extent.”

The plant - in the state of Karnataka and some 160 km north of Bengaluru - will be developed by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), and will be the largest of more than 20 solar parks approved by the state's energy ministry.

Currently, Karnataka produces 4 GW of renewable energy, but plans so far approved could lead to the generation of around 20 GW.

Plans for the Pavagada site call for the solar plant being split into lots of 50 MW, which will be auctioned to investors – a plan that is already underway. So far, Adani Power, Tata Power Renewable Energy and Fortum India have each secured 100 MW, at a tariff of US$ 79/MWh.

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