The difficulty to find appropriate tracts of land has been hampering the development of large scale solar projects in West Bengal. However, a private investor has reportedly secured 500 acres in the state for a 800 MW proposed project. Pictured is Shib Mandir in Purba Bardhaman, West Bengal. (Photo Credit: Purba Bardhaman District Administration)
- A private investor has shown interest in developing a solar power project with 800 MW capacity in West Bengal
- State government says the investor has already secured 500 acres of land in a single location for the proposed project
- Before the project can move forward, the investor is seeking a PPA to be able to secure financing with banks
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The state of West Bengal in India has received a proposal from an unidentified private investor for a 800 MW solar power plant to be developed in a single location. Speaking at the 10th Energy Conclave organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the state’s Power Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said the proposed project entails an investment of INR 30 billion ($416.55 million).
The said investor has already secured close to 500 acres of land and isn’t looking for any assistance in acquiring more land. He did not, however, reveal the location of the project or any tentative timeline.
Local media reported the minister added that the power purchase agreement (PPA) will be the key to execute the project and that the investor was seeking to get the PPA for the project before proceeding on the plan to be able to secure financing from the banks.
A major problem with West Bengal is the difficulty to find large tracts of land for utility-scale solar power plants. In the past, it has been unable to find space for the sole solar park envisaged for the state as part of India’s National Solar Mission with 500 MW capacity in Purab Medinapur, Bankura.
Back in 2016, the minister was quoted by local media as saying that the government will create multiple solar parks and capacity will depend on the size of land (see West Bengal Solar Parks).
Earlier this year, the state electricity utility CESC Limited issued an expression of interest to source 200 MW of solar power generation from commissioned projects on short term basis to meet its renewable purchase obligation (see 200 MW Solar Power Procurement Tender In India).