Statkraft Commissions 55 MW Open Access Solar Project in Tamil Nadu

The Nellai solar project will generate more than 120 GWh of clean energy every year


Norway-based renewable energy company Statkraft has announced the commissioning of its 55 MWAC (76 MWDC) Nellai solar project. Developed under the group captive model, the project is located at Ettanakulam village in Manur Taluk in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.

Statkraft’s customers own a minimum share of 26% of the project and procure the electricity produced on long-term power purchase agreements. The project features 140,000 modules spread across 773,678 square meters of land. The project is connected to the Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation through a 230 KV transmission line with a length of 2.5 kilometers.

German Belectric Photovoltaic India will operate and maintain the project for the first three years.

“We are very excited to complete our first utility-scale solar park in India and intend to develop more solar projects across the country. Nellai will help industries in the state of Tamil Nadu meet their renewable energy requirements at an affordable price. We aim to become a key developer and operator of hydro, wind, and solar assets, spreading our investments across different technologies and business models,” Rahul Varshney, Country Manager, said.

Considering an average of 300 days of sunshine, the project will generate more than 120 GWh of clean energy every year, equal to the annual power consumption of more than 500,000 Indian homes.

Statkraft owns a production capacity of 215 MW with an annual generation of around 1310 GWh. The company said that the 150 MW Tidong hydropower project in Himachal Pradesh is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

In April this year, Statkraft secured a €1.3 billion (~$1.43 billion) five-year sustainability-linked syndicated revolving credit facility with two ‘one-year extension’ options.

In July 2021, Fourth Partner Energy announced the acquisition of Statkraft’s distributed solar portfolio of 8.9 MWdc capacity in India. Out of this capacity, 5 MW is an open access solar project, and the rest is rooftop solar.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Open Access Market Report Q4 & Annual 2021, there was a record growth of 222% year-over-year in open access installations in 2021. As of December 2021, the cumulative installed solar capacity in the open access market crossed 5 GW. Tamil Nadu ranked second for open access solar installations in 2021 as automobile, textile, and IT industries in Tamil Nadu aggressively moved towards open access solar, mostly under the group captive model.