Madhya Pradesh will soon begin the process of seeking developers for the massive 750-mw Rewa solar power project. Speaking to Projectmonitor from Bhopal, Mridul Khare, Deputy Commissioner—New & Renewable Energy, Government of Madhya Pradesh said that the tendering process for the Rewa solar project would begin in September itself. When commissioned, the Rewa solar project could very well become the world’s largest solar power project, by current thinking. It may be mentioned that the 550-mw Desert Sunlight project in California, USA, is the biggest solar project in the world, according to reliable reports. Commissioned in February this year, the project is co-owned by NextEra Energy Resources, GE Energy Financial Services and Sumitomo Group.
For the Madhya Pradesh solar power project, a special purpose vehicle Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Ltd has already been incorporated. This is an equal joint venture between Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd and Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd, Khare explained. The project will come on PPP basis where the selected private developer will build, finance and operate the project under a concession agreement. A part of the power generated by the Rewa plant—at least 20 per cent—will be reserved for the Madhya Pradesh government. The photovoltaic cell-equipped project is expected to cost over Rs.4,000 crore, by industry estimates, and, by virtue of its size, the cost of generation would be very competitive—in the region of just Rs.5 per unit.
Khare observed that the highlight of the project was in its structuring. Rewa will not follow the “solar park” philosophy where several developers are engaged in setting up small sub-projects within the park. The government official explained that the state government would be providing land and grid connectivity. Madhya Pradesh has already secured possession of 1,270 ha of land while the remaining 100 ha will be acquired shortly, Khare observed. Majority of the land required for the project is government-owned. According to reliable information, World Bank has also agreed in principle to lend to the Rewa solar project. Central transmission utility Power Grid Corporation of India has already begun work on setting up the infrastructure for evacuation of power generated at the Rewa solar project, Khare informed.
The Rewa project is coming up in the Bandwar region in Gudh tehsil of Rewa district, straddling villages like Barseta, Barseta Pahad, Latar, Ramnagar and Badwaar. Rewa district lies at the upper end of Madhya Pradesh and is bordered by Uttar Pradesh on the north and east.
Madhya Pradesh has already made its mark in the solar power industry with the 151-mw Neemuch solar plant commissioned by Welspun earlier this year. The grid-connected solar photovoltaic Neemuch project, spread over 305 ha of land, is said to be the biggest solar project in Asia.