Rajasthan Becomes the First 10 GW Solar State
The state installed 5 GW of large-scale solar in FY 22 alone
Rajasthan became the first state in India to surpass 10 GW of cumulative large-scale solar installations, as per Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker. The state has a total of 32.5 GW of installed power capacity, with renewables contributing 55%, followed by thermal energy at 43%, and nuclear energy making up for the remaining 2%.
Solar is the predominant source which now accounts for around 36% of the power capacity mix and 64% amongst renewables.
With the country recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, stalled projects were commissioned, and new projects were tendered across the state. The thermal contribution was the highest during the first quarter of FY 2021-22, but the share of renewables rose through the other quarters, thanks to solar installations.
Rajasthan enjoys some of the highest solar irradiation levels in the country, along with other favorable factors like land availability and minimal power curtailment issues. These attractive conditions have also encouraged other states like Maharashtra to develop projects in Rajasthan to procure power. Other significant projects include the ones developed by NTPC and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and projects developed under the Rajasthan State Solar Policy.
According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Rajasthan has over 16 GW of solar projects under development.
SECI-awarded projects amount to 11.6 GW, of which 6.2 GW are interstate transmission system (ISTS) projects. Installations increased despite several projects getting stranded due to the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) issue.
In February 2022, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy notified that all renewable energy projects under implementation, wholly or partly located in the priority or potential territory of the GIB, are to be granted a 30-day extension on the scheduled date of commissioning following the Supreme Court judgment. These also include the projects whose commissioning is delayed due to non-completion of project transmission infrastructure.
State-owned THDC India recently signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to build 10 GW solar power projects through a 74:36 joint venture with Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited, entailing an investment of ₹100 billion (~$1.33 billion).
In 2019, Rajasthan released its Solar Energy Policy 2019, which aims to achieve a target of 30 GW of solar power by the FY 2024-25. Of this, utility or grid-scale solar parks will account for 24 GW, distributed generation 4 GW, rooftop solar, and solar pumps accounting for 1 GW each.