The southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, a major producer of renewable energy (RE), which had an installed capacity of 8,421 megawatt (MW) till 31 December 2020, has released feasibility reports of five project sites for setting up ultra-mega solar power parks under its renewable energy export policy announced in July 2020.
The RE export policy, which is applicable to solar, wind and wind-solar hybrid projects in the state, looks to tap the huge untapped potential and also the availability of land to promote renewable energy projects by investors for the purpose of energy export.
As per the scheme, RE produced in the state can be exported to other states without any obligation on state discoms to procure power as they have already exceeded the renewable power purchase obligation.
To this end, the state has identified seven sites with a total capacity of 17,800 MW under its new policy. These include Kadiri, Obuladevucheruvu (ODC), Ralla Anantapur, Badvel, Kalasapadu, Owk, and Kolimigundla.
Of the 7 sites, reports have been released for installation of large-scale solar parks having a capacity of 4,000 MW at Kadiri, 2,400 MW each at ODC and Ralla Anantapur, 1,400 MW at Badvel, and 2,000 MW at Kalasapadu.
The Kadiri project is to be incorporated on 20,000 acres of land, while Kalasapadu project on about 10,000 acres, Badvel project on 7,000 acres, Ralla Anantapur and ODC projects on 12,000 acres each.
The state government has pegged its investment requirement to about Rs 80,000 crore at the rate of Rs 4.5 crore per MW to set up these seven ultra-mega solar plants with 17,800 MW capacity under the policy.
The plan under the export policy is to facilitate 120 GW renewable energy projects, lease five lakh acre of potential land to project developers, attract investments, set up renewable energy equipment manufacturing facilities and generate additional revenue.
The land aggregating agency will charge lease rentals of Rs 31,000 per acre per year from the date of taking possession till completion of the lease period, whereas green energy development charges Rs 1 lakh per MW of installed capacity per year which is applicable for the entire life of the project starting from the date of commissioning of Phase-I of the project.
Taking the lead
Andhra Pradesh has been one of the leading states in embracing India’s green energy initiative.
It has around 8,421 MW of solar and wind projects and is home to India’s second-largest installed capacity of clean energy, accounting for around 10 percent of the country’s green energy capacity, with investments of Rs 60,000 crore.
Of the total installed capacity, wind energy projects have the largest share with 4,080 MW capacity, followed by solar energy with a capacity of 3,749 MW commissioned, according to the latest status report by the state’s nodal agency for implementation of RE programmes, New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh.
Further, the state has commissioned a total of 103 MW capacity till 31 December 2020 in small hydro projects, while biomass, biomass energy co-generation and bagasse projects contributed a total of 443 MW to the state’s renewable energy capacity. The share of municipal solid waste and industrial waste capacity stood at 47 MW in December 2020.
Presently, the state government is also expediting efforts to float India’s largest solar tender for setting up 10 GW capacity to supply electricity to the farmers requiring an investment of around Rs 35,000 crore.