Gujarat is endowed with adequate solar energy potential with most parts of the state receiving sunny rays on an average 300 days per year. The annual mean daily global solar radiation received is in the range of 5-7 kWh/m2/day.
Thanks to the aggressive solar initiatives adopted by the state government, out of 1045
MW of grid connected solar projects in India, 690MW of the capacity has been commissioned in Gujarat.
Further, the government has appointed Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL) as the nodal agency for the development of solar projects. The Gujarat Solar Policy offers to promote green generation in the state by consuming solar power and encouraging investment for solar power plants.
Through its Solar Power Generation Policy announced in January, 2009, Gujarat aims to adopt and promote renewable energy sources as a solution to the rising energy crisis in the state and emerge as a model to other energy-starving states in the country. These policies have attracted global investors and helped Gujarat to emerge as a global solar Energy Hub.
The Solar Power policy -2009 has following objectives.
· Promoting sustainable, green and clean power in the state
· To build an investment -friendly environment which will help to leverage Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
· Usage of wastelands in a productive way
· Generating employment opportunities and enhancing skill labor involving local youth
· Technology transfer facilitation
· Promoting research and development works in solar energy field.
· Achieve technical excellence and manage new applications effectively
· Create environmental awareness
Major Solar Projects
Charanka, Patan solar plant
The 590 MW capacity of solar park at Charanka, Patan in Gujarat is one of the largest solar parks in the world. The multi developer, multi facility and multi technology solar park is spread across 5,384 acres.
Having an installed capacity of 224MW, the project had been commissioned by 20 developers and has plans to increase by another 50MW, putting the total capacity to 274MW. It also accounts for 342,400 tons of Carbon Emission Reductions (CERs) thus owning the credit of becoming one of the largest CERs contributing Project. Solar project developers like Alex Astral, Sun Edison, Lanco Solar, Roha Dyechem and GMR Gujarat Solar Power have set up plants in the park.
Development cost of the solar park was Rs 4500 crores. The plant has created an employment for more than 1,000 people. The project was commissioned in December 2011. The solar park consists of large cluster of solar power generating units at single location so it reduces cost and brings down solar tariff.
2012 Canal-top Solar Power Plant.
The 1 MW grid-connected solar power plant at Mehsana on Narmada canal is the world’s first canal solar project of this size. The project provides clean energy, while also avoiding the use of land.
The solar plant was set up at the cost of around Rs 17.50 crore by U.S based Sun Edison and has the capacity to generate 1.6 million units of solar energy annually and reduce 9 million liters of water evaporation annually.
Other major solar projects in Gujarat
Adani Group owns a 40 MW solar power Plant in Kutch, Gujarat.
Tata Power Renewable Energy has developed a 25 MW solar PV project in Mithapur.
GMR Gujarat Solar Power has set up a 25 MW project in Patan District and sells power to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam (GUVNL) under a 25 year PPA.
SunEdison has agreed to construct a 15 MW PV solar power plant in Gujarat, with Azure Power.
The government of Gujarat has also implemented small-scale residential solar power programs like solar rooftops and solar water heaters.
Solar Rooftop Program implemented by the state of Gujarat is an example of PPP model. Government of Gujarat has launched the ‘Gandhinagar Photovoltaic Rooftop Program’ to encourage rooftop installation of solar PV. In this program, solar developers are selected through a bidding process.
Gujarat, with the support from Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), is offering 30 percent subsidy on solar water heaters sold through the direct channel partners (DCPs).
Major solar project financiers in Gujarat.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) had extended USD 100 million financial support to the solar park in the state. ADB partnered with Clinton Climate Initiative, National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the US and Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University in drawing support for the project among stakeholders.
ADB provided a $100 million loan to fund substations, transmission lines and equipment. The transmission costs are higher for solar power plants and this cost burden was mitigated with the loans from ADB.
Major PV providers in Gujarat.
First Solar claims the major share among PV suppliers for the solar park in Gujarat. Waaree Group Consortium, Sun Energy Systems and Topsun Energy are other major PV providers for Gujarat solar power plants.