Government may revoke solar park allocations due to the slow pace

According to two officials with knowledge of the issue, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) will assess the situation of solar parks whose developers have made little to no progress and may even rescind their allocations.

The study is being conducted at a time when a number of solar parks in the nation have yet to be put into operation, even though the government allocated them to developers some years ago.

As of June 30, 61 solar parks totaling 40GW in capacity had been approved under the "Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects" programme, but only 10GW had been put into operation as per the most recent statistics from the MNRE provided in the Parliament.

Smaller-scale solar projects on an individual basis suffer high costs for site preparation, building separate transmission lines to the closest substation, acquiring water, and developing other essential infrastructure.

 While solar parks come in a plug-and-play style wherein land and accompanying infrastructure are already given, it also takes a substantial amount of time. Also excluded from environmental impact assessments are such parks.

The development of the solar parks involves cooperation between central public sector organisations, private business owners, and state governments and their authorities. The executing entity is known as the Solar Power Park Developer (SPPD). The implementing agency can be chosen using a variety of methods.

According to information presented in a written reply by the minister for new and renewable energy R.K. Singh to the Lok Sabha recently, there are 61 solar parks that have been approved across 16 states, with Rajasthan having the most with 10 parks approved, totaling 7.036 GW in capacity.

Gujarat has seven parks with a total sanctioned capacity of 12.025 GW, which puts it in the top in terms of capacity. There are 2.901GW and 785MW of installed capacity in Rajasthan and Gujarat, respectively.

Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh are other significant states with big solar park sanctioned capabilities, with respective capacities of 6.08GW, 4.2GW, and 3.805GW.As of June 30, the three states have commissioned capacities of 1GW, 3.050GW, and 165MW, respectively.