The Pavagada solar park located in the Tumkur district of Karnataka is the biggest solar power station in India and one of the biggest such facilities in the world.
The 2,050MW solar park is developed by Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation (KSPDCL), a joint venture between Karnataka Renewable Energy Development (KREDL) and Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) that was formed in March 2015.
Construction on the £1.6bn ($2bn) mega solar power project was started in October 2016 after receiving approval from the Government of Karnataka in October 2015.
The 600MW first phase of the solar project was commissioned in January 2018, while the entire solar park was commissioned in December 2019.
Location and site details
The Pavagada solar park spreads over 13,000 acres in the Pavagada taluk of Tumkur district, approximately 180km away from Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
KSPDCL acquired the land for the Pavagada solar park through lease agreements with the farmers on an annual lease rental basis.
Pavagada solar park make-up
The Pavagada solar park comprises eight segments of PV installations with the rated capacity of each segment is 250MW.
Each segment is further divided into five blocks of 50MW capacity each.
Solar power developers for the Pavagada solar park
The 2GW Pavagada solar park has been developed through the award of contracts to multiple solar power developers.
Tata Power was contracted to develop and operate 400MW capacity at the solar park, while Re New Power and Fortum Solar were contracted for 350MW capacity each.
The other solar power developers for the project are Avaada Energy (300MW), SoftBank (SB) Energy (200MW), Adani Green Energy (150MW), ACME Solar (100MW), Azure Power (100MW), Rattan India (50MW) and KREDL (50MW).
The solar park achieved its full operational capacity of 2,050MW after SB Energy commissioned its final 100MW segment of the solar project in December 2019.
The electricity generated by each block of the solar park is sent to a 220kV pooling substation through 66kV/ 33kV double circuit underground cables.
The pooling substation is connected to a 400kV/220kV substation at Pavagada which is owned and operated by the Power Grid Corporation India (PGCIL).
The Pavagada substation is further connected with a 400kV substation at Vasantnarsapur in Tumkur, as well as a 400kV substation at Mysore.
BHEL was awarded a contract to build these three high-voltage substations in January 2017.
L&T was contracted to build four 2 x 150MVA, 220/66kV substations, while Amararaja Power Systems was contracted to build four 4 x 80MVA, 220/33kV substations.
Viji Power Transformers was responsible to provide a 2x8MVA, 66/11kV substation.
Solar power in Karnataka
India installed approximately 27GW of new PV solar capacity during 2016 and 2019, of which the southern Indian state Karnataka accounted for 7GW.
Karnataka has the highest solar installed capacity among the Indian states followed by Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
Approximately 1GW of more solar power projects are also under development in the state.
Karnataka has been at the forefront of renewable energy adaptation. The share of renewable energy in the state’s total installed capacity is estimated to be 62 %, while solar power accounts for approximately 22% of the total installed power capacity.