For about 12 years till 2002, some 1,200 hectares in Badwar, Madhya Pradesh, were used as a firing range by the Army. Fifteen years after the guns fell silent, there has been a dramatic change in the way this remote village in the Rewa district will be known: a solar park with three projects of 250 MW each is slated to come up here.
On February 10, the three projects were bid out by the Madhya Pradesh government to Mahindra Renewables, ACME Solar Holdings and Solengeri Power’s Spring Energy at historic low tariffs: Rs 2.97-2.98 a unit in the first year and Rs 3.32 over 25 years of contract. The rates were received through 33 hours of reverse bidding.
The last few years have seen a sharp drop in solar tariffs. With the price of photovoltaic cells in a southward spiral, the weighted average solar power tariff has declined from Rs 6.79 a unit in 2014 to Rs 5.01 in 2016. Rewa’s tariff of Rs 3.32 will be bettered by Kadapa Solar Park in Andhra Pradesh, which is slated to come up next month, with tariff of Rs 3.15. The tariff for average coal-based power at which NTPC, the country’s largest coal-based power producer, sold during the quarter ending December 2016 is Rs 3.20.