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“Game-Changer”: PM Modi inaugurates Asia’s largest solar plant in MP’s Rewa

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Solar Power Plant

Spread over 1,590 acres; one of the world’s largest solar park, it caught global attention and become an anthem for India’ clean energy evangelists, by landing a then record low-winning bid of ₹2.97 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in the country through intelligent risk distribution.

“Solar energy is going to be a major medium of energy needs not only today but in the 21st century. Because solar energy is sure, pure and secure,” the Prime Minister said.

“Today, Rewa has really scripted history. Rewa is identified with the name of mother Narmada and the white tiger. Now, the name of Asia’s largest solar power project has also been added,” he said.

“I congratulate the people of Rewa and Madhya Pradesh and give them my best wishes. This solar plant of Rewa will help in making this entire area a big centre of energy in this decade,” he added.

Madhya Pradesh’s Governor Anandiben Patel, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union minister of new and renewable energy RK Singh and oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan were among those present during the inauguration virtually.

Apart from being the country’s first solar project to conduct inter-state sale of electricity, the auction process that went on for 33 hours also became the template for awarding future projects in the country.

Its power purchase agreement (PPA) was accepted as a standard model by the union ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) to help achieve the lowest electricity tariff rates through competitive bidding. Rewa also helped move the needle from conventional wisdom of subsidy or the viability gap funding (VGF) being the key to help bring the tariffs down.

While this comes in the backdrop of rapid pace of clean energy capacity addition by India, there are also concerns such as debt financing for green energy projects drying up, with large Indian banks declining to fund projects that have committed to sell power at less than Rs3 per unit. The banks have been wary of lending to developers as they suspect the viability of projects that have agreed to sell power at rock-bottom tariffs.

Here are a few things to know about 750 MW Rewa Solar Project in Madhya Pradesh:

  • The Project comprises of three solar generating units of 250 MW each located on a 500-hectare plot of land situated inside a solar park (total area 1500 hectare).
  • The Solar Park was developed by the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL), a joint venture company of Madhya Pradesh UrjaVikas Nigam Limited (MPUVN), and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a Central Public Sector Undertaking.
  • The Rewa Solar Project was the first solar project in the country to break the grid parity barrier.
  • This project will reduce carbon emission equivalent to approx. 15 lakh ton of CO2 per year.
  • The project has also received World Bank Group President’s Award for innovation and excellence and was included in the Prime Minister’s “A Book of Innovation: New Beginnings”.

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