Solar farm. Author: Thomas Kohler. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
Dec 11, 2014 - The Narendra Modi-led union cabinet approved plans to build a number of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in India with a combined capacity of over 21,000 MW.
According to a statement on Wednesday, the government has given its nod to a scheme for the installation of 25 solar farms, each of at least 500 MW, plus "ultra mega solar" power plants in various part of the country between 2014 and 2019. These projects will require about INR 40.5 billion (USD 650m/EUR 522m) in financial support from the central government.
The cabinet has also given the green light to a plan for the construction of up to 1,000 MW of grid-connected solar PV parks by Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSU) or state organisations. These projects would benefit from INR 10 billion (USD 160.5m/EUR 129m) in support from the Viability Gap Fund (VGF).
Projects under the 1,000-MW scheme will have to use only PV cells and panels manufactured in India, according to the press release. The plan is to construct these solar parks between 2015 and 2018.
In both schemes, state governments will need to nominate the agency that will carry out their proposed projects and also identify land for the purpose, before sending their plans for approval by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Developers will not be required to obtain statutory and other clearances, which will speed up the process.