Pictured is a screenshot of the Kurnool Solar park video posted by SoftBank Group Corporation Director and Executive Vice President COO Marcelo Claure during his visit in November 2018 on his Twitter account. SoftBank’s Indian JV commissioned its 350 MW at the Kurnool solar park in April 2017. (Photo Credit: Marcelo Claure/Twitter)
- India has officially inaugurated Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park In Andhra Pradesh with 1 GW capacity
- The project had been grid synchronized in 2017, but it took the state government more than a year to officially inaugurate it
- It is operating in Ghani and Sakunala villages in Kurnool district in an area of 5,683.22 acres
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More than a year after it achieved grid synchronization, the 1 GW Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park in Andhra Pradesh was officially inaugurated by the state Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on January 7, 2019.
According to a June 2018 report by The Hans India online news portal, the state government had earlier wanted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the project, but changed political equations between the centre and state led to the project starting production without any fanfare. Now, Naidu has officially inaugurated the project that cost around INR 71.44 billion ($1.02 billion), as per the article.
The project is spread on a land area of 5,683.22 acres in Ghani and Sakunala villages in Kurnool district, according to Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation Private Limited (APSPCL).
The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) awarded a total of 1 GW capacity to winning bidders SunEdison (500 MW), SoftBank’s SBG Cleantech (350 MW), Azure Power (100 MW) and Adani’s Prayatna Developers (50 MW). The lowest bid offered was INR 4.63 ($0.071) per kWh. Greenko acquired the 500 MW capacity when it took over SunEdison’s assets in India; SBG Cleantech commissioned 350 MW in April 2017 (see SoftBank’s Indian JV Commissions 350 MW).
According to a May 2018 report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), the 1,547 MW Tengger Desert Solar Park is the world’s largest operating utility-scale solar project, now followed by Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park in India. The other top projects – Datong Solar Power Top Runner Base in China and Yanchi Ningxia Solar park – are in China and have also 1 GW capacity each.
Previously, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency had reported the Kurnool park will become operational by the end of May 2017 (see 1 GW Kurnool Solar Park Online Soon).