India's biggest solar plant project and also the largest such entity worldwide– the 5000 MW Dholera Solar Park- had received a nod from the state government earlier this year. The dream project is a soaring step towards fulfilling Prime Minster Modi’s vision to produce 175 Gigawatt of electricity through renewable energy by 2022.
11000 hectares of waste land owned by Gujarat State Government has been identified for development of the solar plant. The land is located in Gulf of Khambhat region in Dholera Special Investment Region and is a CRZ type 1(B) land. Such land can be used to plant mangrove trees or for generation of renewable energy. Thus, approvals for environmental clearance will be no hassles.
Dholera solar plant is a capital intensive project and would need an investment of Rs. 25,000 crores during several phases of its development. The project has been planned on a Public-Private Partnership model and will raise funds from investors in a systematic manner.
The responsibility for development of the project has been handed over to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL). Other authorities like Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd (GPCL), Gujarat Electric Transmission Corporation (GETCO), Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Central Transmission Unit (CTU) have been appointed for rightful implementation of the project.
The solar plant shall be developed in many phases with the first phase, comprising of 1000MW power generation capacity, expected to roll out within two years. Expression of Interest from project developers for building the first phase has been invited and developers shall be selected through a process of competitive bidding which shall be followed by reverse e-auction. Dholera solar park is expected to reach its maximum power generation capacity within five years from now.
The much anticipated renewable energy project has more pros than cons which substantiates its significance to the Indian economy. The advantages include:-
The cons include salinity issues in the region and corrosive nature of the air thereby leading to more maintenance cost, regular cleaning of solar panels and higher investment in foundation work. A technical study is in progress to evaluate its impact.
For more on Dholera Solar plant and its progress, keep checking this section.