Madhya Pradesh has drawn up an ambitious plan to increase its solar power capacity manifold over the next three years. With an installed solar power capacity of 355 MW, the state expects to add close to 500 MW in this financial year alone and take the total installed capacity to 2,654 MW by 2017.
"Madhya Pradesh is fast emerging as a new power hub in renewable energy sector. Solar power projects are already operational in several districts, and the government has identified 20,000 hectare land to further boost the installed capacity," state new and renewable energy minister Rajendra Shukla said.
The world’s first ultra-mega solar power plant is being set up in Rewa, which will generate 750 MW power. "Madhya Pradesh is aiming to become the second largest producer of solar power in the country after Gujarat by 2015," an official of the new and renewable energy department said. The state aims to have an installed solar power capacity of 1,054 MW by 2015 and 1,854 MW by 2016.
Madhya Pradesh has taken several policy initiatives to attract investment in solar power sector. It has introduced a "right to use" concept for government land for setting up solar projects and thus drastically reduced the time and cost for land allocation. Under the state’s solar policy, the revenue department transfers identified land to the new and renewable energy department, which then awards "right to use" to developers while retaining ownership thereby reducing the time of allotment. A digital land data-bank of several thousand hectares, accessible to developers, makes site identification easy.
The state government has also simplified the process of clearances, approvals and inspections.
With solar radiation at 6.2 KWH per square meter during 300 days a year, conditions for solar power generation are extremely conducive in the state. The state government is also developing Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Rewa and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh as solar cities.