Bhadla to fuel Rajasthan’s plan to triple solar power generation
More than a million solar panels, installed on an arid stretch spread over 45 sq km in Jodhpur district, will fuel Rajasthan’s ambitious plan to generate 7,000 MW of solar energy by 2019 end. Once fully operational, the Bhadla solar park will generate 2,255 MW, making it “the largest solar park in the world”.
The park, being developed in four phases, is currently generating 746 MW and phase 3 of 1,000 MW is under implementation, a senior official said.
Apart from the Bhadla solar park, Rajasthan has already commissioned solar projects of 1,592 MW over the past four years. Besides, a 750 MW project being developed by Essel Infra at Pokhran, a 1,500 MW project is being jointly set up by Adani group and Rajasthan government at Jaisalmer and a 1,000 MW project is under construction by RRECL at Nokh in Jaisalmer. All these projects are expected to be commissioned by 2019 end.
“Rajasthan is on course to triple its solar power generation capacity in next two years to 7,000 MW from 2,246 MW at present,” Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL) managing director BK Dosi said. “A major contributor will be world’s largest solar park at Bhadla, which will have a total capacity of 2,255 MW, and we expect it to be fully commissioned by March 2019,” he added.
At present, the 1,000 MW Kurnool Ultra Solar Park in Andhra Pradesh is the world’s largest single location solar project and Pavagada Solar Park in Karnataka aims to generate 2,700 MW once fully commissioned.
The Bhadla solar park already has two phases in operation, producing 746 MW of power, with big names in the business such as the Adani and IL&FS among the developers. RRECL has implemented phase I and phase II of Bhadla solar park. Under phase I (75 MW), five projects of 60 MW have been commissioned, and under phase II (680 MW) all the 10 projects of total capacity of 680 MW have been commissioned.
The third phase (1,000 MW) is being developed by Saurya Urja Company of Rajasthan Ltd, which is a joint venture of Rajasthan government and IL&FS. Out of 1,000 MW, projects of 500 MW capacity have been awarded at a tariff of ₹2.44 and ₹2.45 per unit.
“These projects are likely to be commissioned by September 2018,” Dosi said.
For remaining 500 MW capacity, an online e-auction was held on December 12, 2017 and tariff determined at ₹2.46 and ₹2.47 per unit. These projects are likely to be commissioned by March 2019, he said. The fourth phase (500 MW) is being developed by Adani Renewable Energy Park Rajasthan Ltd, a joint venture of Rajasthan government and Adani Enterprises.
Until the solar park was established, Bhadla on the fringes of the Thar Desert, about 200 km from Jodhpur, only made headlines for extreme heat with temperatures crossing 50 degrees in the summer. However, the sunny and arid region is now not only generating clean energy but also helping change the lives of people by providing employment and business opportunities.
A report released in October 2017 by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has stated that India’s renewable energy capacity will more than double by 2022. The union government has an ambitious target of raising it to 175 GW by 2022 including 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind energy.
A six-year-old boy died after falling into a 100-foot-deep borewell at Khyala Bulanda village here on Sunday. Son of a migrant labourer, Rithik Roshan, fell into the borewell around 9 am and was taken out at 6.30pm. Rithik's death is a is a stark reminder of a similar shocking incident two years ago in Sangrur district where two-year-old Fatehvir Singh had died after he fell into a 150-foot-deep abandoned borewell.
No immediate measures have been initiated by the authorities to check the stinking brackish blushing water flowing from the Harike barrage near here into Rajasthan and Ferozepur feeder canals even after over a decade of the polluted water making its way to agricultural fields and homes, resulting in crop losses and health problems among residents of Punjab and adjoining Rajasthan that receive the water supplied by it.
A truck driver was allegedly beaten to death by three youths on Sunday after the victim, Inder Harpal Singh of Patiala's vehicle grazed their car in Faridkot city. SHO Sandeep Singh said that the investigation has found that the victim, Inder Harpal Singh of Patiala, was beaten to death by the accused after a small accident at 9:30 pm on Sunday when he was on his way to Faridkot city from Sangrur to deliver packages.
The Shiromani Akali Dal on Sunday asked Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann not to befool the farmers with announcements that their moong crop would be procured when the Centre has only agreed to buy 4,585 tonnes of the pulse, amounting to only 10-15% of the anticipated production. In a statement here, SAD kisan wing president Sikander Singh Maluka said Punjab was set to produce 4.75 lakh tonnes of moong.
Ferozepur Division manager Seema Sharma on Sunday conducted an inspection at the Ludhiana Railway Station. She also met a few railway union leaders and held a meeting with senior officials of the Ludhiana station. Senior divisional mechanical engineer and commercial manager Sudeep Singh also checked the operations at the station. Though senior officials termed it as a surprise visit, the Ludhiana railway staff, including the station director, were already aware of the checking.