Top Five States for Utility-Scale Solar in 2023 [Infographics]

The top five states accounted for 71% of the cumulative utility-scale solar installations


The cumulative utility-scale solar installations in India stood at 59.1 GW at the end of September 2023, according to Mercom India’s latest available data.

The full-year installation numbers for 2023 will be released in February.

Here is a look at India’s top five states for utility-scale solar installations.

As of September 2023, Rajasthan’s total utility-scale solar installations represented 28.2% of the country’s total installations.

With the advantage of high irradiation, Rajasthan has held on to its lead. The state, however, saw a dip in installations during the year, mainly due to project delays in the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) region.

Utility-scale solar installations dropped 78.9% YoY in the first nine months (9M) of the calendar year (CY) 2023.

Solar Energy Corporation of India’s projects under the Central Public Sector Undertaking program, inter-state transmission system-connected solar projects, and Kerala State Electricity Board’s project in Bikaner contributed to the solar additions in Rajasthan during the year.

Utility scale 1

Karnataka had the country’s second-largest operational utility-scale solar project portfolio with 15.8%. The state witnessed significant capacity additions during the first and the third quarter of 2023.

During 9M 2023, the installations in the state dropped 7.1% YoY.

Most of the installations in the state came from open-access projects, benefiting from favorable policies, accessible transmission infrastructure, and a lower cost of open access power compared to the retail power tariff.

In Q3 2023, Karnataka had the second-highest capacity additions in the country. Notably, open-access solar projects constituted 66.2% of the total installations in the state during the quarter.

Utility scale 2

Gujarat‘s contribution to the country’s overall operational utility-scale solar capacity was 10.8% at the end of Q3 2023.

The state installed 1.15 GW of utility-scale solar capacity in 9M 2023.

In the July to September period, Gujarat State Electricity Corporation’s projects contributed significantly, accounting for 41.7% of the total installed capacity in the quarter.

Utility scale 3

Tamil Nadu was fourth among states with an installed utility-scale solar capacity, representing 8.7% of the country’s installations. However, the installations in 9M 2023 dropped by 15.7% YoY.

After the hike in retail tariff in 2022, the state has witnessed rapid solar adoption from consumers keen on reducing their operating costs. Most of the installations were fuelled by open access projects in the state, which constituted a substantial 82.7% of the total installations during the second quarter alone.

Utility scale 4

The fifth state was Andhra Pradesh, with 4.4 GW, representing 7.5% of the country’s installations.

The state experienced a major slump during 9M 2023, installing just 14.98 MW, an 88.2% YoY drop.

The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission has announced the renewable power purchase obligation targets until the financial year (FY) 2026-27. The RPPO targets are 18% for FY 2022-23, 19% for FY 2023-24, 20% for FY 2024-25, 22% for FY 2025-26, and 24% for FY 2026-27, which is expected to drive the state DISCOMs to procure more solar power.

Utility scale 5