Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of the world’s largest renewable energy park in Gujarat’s Kutch. This 30,000 megawatt capacity hybrid renewable energy park will be built along the Indo-Pak border at Khavda using both wind and solar energy. Spread over 72,600 hectares of waste land, the first of its kind energy project is expected to play a major role in fulfilling India’s vision of generating 450 gw (4,50,000 mw) of power by 2030.
“This park will be bigger than India’s biggest metro cities. It will produce power using the energy of the Sun and the wind," said Modi while speaking on the occasion. The mega project will not only help in better utilisation of a vast patch of desert, but also in securing the land border, the Prime Minister said during the foundation stone laying ceremony.
Here are the things you should know about the largest energy park in Kutch:
• The park will prove to be important in reaching Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of generating 450 gigawatts of electricity in the country by the year 2030.
• There are two zones of this park. The first zone will be a hybrid park on 49,600 hectares of land, which means it will use sunlight and wind to generate electricity. The second zone will be spread over 23,000 hectares of land and will be wind power based only.
• The park will be constructed between Khawda and Vighakhot villages near India-Pakistan border. While the hybrid park will be just six kilometers from the international border, the wind park will be located at a distance of 1-6 kilometers from it.
• The special reason behind choosing Kutch for such a project is that about one lakh hectares of land has fallen at Khawda. Out of which, the Ministry of Defence has given permission to build a solar park on 72,600 hectares of land. In addition, building a solar park near the border will act as a boundary.
Largest energy parks in India
Bhadla Solar Park
Bhadla solar park is located at Bhadla village in Rajasthan. The park is spread over 5,783 hectares of land. Bhadla village is located at a distance of about 220 km from Jodhpur. The first phase of the solar park includes seven power plants which has a combined capacity of 75 megawatt. The second phase consists of 10 solar power plants with a combined capacity of 680 megawatt. The third and fourth phases involve 10 power plants each. Its generating capacity is 1,000 megawatt and 500 megawatt, respectively. This brings the total capacity of the park to 2,245 megawatt. There is only a solar plant here.
Pavagadh Solar Park
Construction of Pavagadh solar park was started in January 2016. The plant is divided into eight blocks of 250 megawatt each. The park was launched in December, 2019. The power plant is located in Tamakuru district of Karnataka. The plant has been constructed by Karnataka Solar Park Development Corporation. The 2,000 megawatt plant was initially set up on 13,000 acres of land which was later increased to a capacity of 50 megawatt which means that the total capacity of this plant is 2,050 megawatt.
Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park
In Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool, there is a 1,000 megawatt park located. Here electricity is generated through sunlight. The plant is spread over 2,400 hectares of land which is located at Panam Mandal in Andhra Pradesh. As of October 2017, Kurnool had generated about 800 million units of energy from the Ultra Mega Solar Plant which prevented about seven lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the air. Special ponds have been constructed here from rain water, in which monsoon water is stored. Solar panels are cleaned with this water only.
NP Kunta Ultra Power Plant
The NP Kunta Ultra Mega Solar Park is also known as Anantapuram Astra Mega Solar Park. A total of 3,207 hectares of land has been allotted for this project. The park is located at Nambulapulakunta mandal in Andhra Pradesh. The first phase of the park with a capacity of 200 megawatt was ready by May, 2016. The capacity was later increased to 50 megawatt till July, 2016. The second phase achieved an additional capacity of 750 megawatt by March 2018.
World’s Top Tape Solar Energy Parks
1) Bhadla Solar Park
Location : Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Area: 5,700 hectares
Capacity: 2,245 megawatt
2) Golmud Desert Solar Park
Location: Golmud, China
Capacity: 1,800 megawatt
3) Pavagada Solar Park
Area: 5,260 hectares
Capacity: 2,050 megawatt
4) Benban Solar Park
Location: Western Egypt (desert)
Area: 3,700 hectares
Capacity: 1,650 megawatt
5) Tengger Desert Solar Park
Location: North-Central China
Area: 4,300 hectares
Capacity: 1,547 megawatt
6) Noor Abu Dhabi
Location: United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Area: 8 square kilometers
Capacity: 1,177 megawatt
Energy: Single site solar
7) Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
Location: United Arab Building
Area: 7,700 hectares
Capacity: 1,012 megawatt
8) Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park
Location: Panam Mandal, Andhra Pradesh
Area: 2400 hectares
Capacity: 1,000 megawatt
9) Datong Solar Power Project
Capacity: 1,000 megawatt
10) NP Kunta Ultra Power Plant
Venue: Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh
Area: 3,207 hectares
Capacity: 900 MW