MP to triple its solar power capacity by 2017

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Madhya Pradesh is on track to triple its solar power generation capacity in the next two years with several big-ticket projects under implementation, a senior government official told HT.

“We aim to enhance the current solar power capacity from around 650 MW to 2 gigawatts (2,000 MW) by the end of 2017,” state principal secretary (new and renewable energy) Manu Shrivastava told HT. ”Availability of vast tracks of barren land coupled with fast tracking of solar power projects under government’s single window scheme is encouraging private companies, both domestic and international, to bid aggressively for new projects,” he said.

At Rs 5.05 per unit, Canada-based company SkyPower Global’s solar project in Madhya Pradesh, which is under implementation, will offer second lowest solar power tariff in India after another international energy firm’s proposed tariff of Rs 4.63 per unit in Andhra Pradesh.

Apart from land, Madhya Pradesh enjoys advantage of high solar radiation with around 300 days of clear sun.

“The state’s current installed capacity is 654 MW while projects of 1,500 MW are under implementation,” Shrivastava said.

In June 2015, US-based energy company SunEdison had inaugurated its 50 MW advanced solar power plant in the Dammakhedi in Madhya Pradesh.

It is the first solar power plant in the state to use single axis tracker technology to maximize energy production.

The technology allows the panel to rotate its angle with the sun depending on its position during the day.

Falling cost of solar panels and equipment has led to a steep decline in the tariff. The fall in prices can be attributed to an increase in Chinese export of low-cost photovoltaic cells that has led to a steep drop in prices of solar panels over the past five years.

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