Madhya Pradesh, a state in central India, has signed agreements with solar power companies to develop 750MW Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Park.
The projects are expected to contribute to India's ambition of generating 100GW of solar energy by 2022 and to offset a million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
International Financial Corporation (IFC) is the lead transaction advisor for the project that is expected to attract $550m in private investment.
The project is led by Rewa Ultra Mega Solar, which is a joint venture between the Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI) and Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (MPUVN).
For the three solar plants, a low tariff of $0.44/KWh was received through competitive bidding process that brought solar power tariffs could on par with mainstream fossil fuels in India for the first time, IFC said.
The project which comprises of three solar plants of 250MW each is being considered as one of the biggest single site solar projects in the world. The winning bidders for the power plants include Mahindra Renewabes, ACME Solar and Solenergie Power.
These three companies have signed two sets of power purchase agreements (PPA) with the Madhya Pradesh Power Management Corp (MPPMCL) and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. As per the PPA, about 76% of the electricity will be supplied to MPPMCL and the remaining 24% of the power produced will be supplied to Delhi Metro, which will help in meeting 80% of its daytime energy requirements.
IFC executive vice president and CEO Philippe Le Houérou said: “The Rewa solar park transaction will have an enormous ripple effect, helping create new markets for large solar projects across India and the region.
“We have partnered with state and national government agencies for years to develop the solar market in India – from rooftops to mega solar parks – and the agreements signed today are the next step in IFC’s efforts to help India be a global leader in renewable energy and secure a clean, sustainable future.”
The Rewa solar project will also receive financing from the World Bank.
Rewa Ultra Mega Solar chairman and Government of Madhya Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Department Principal Secretary Manu Srivastava said: “With the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy asking other states to incorporate many key provisions of this transaction into their solar projects, we are very proud that Madhya Pradesh is leading the way in large-scale renewable power developments in India.
“This is the first time that solar power has achieved grid parity in our country, which means that the ambitious renewable energy targets set by the Government of India are within reach. This is truly revolutionary. IFC played a critical role in this record setting project."
Image: IFC to support India in the development of 750MW solar plants. Photo: Courtesy of start08/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.