- NTPC’s renewable energy arm has secured approval from the MNRE to build 4.75 GW solar park
- It will be located in Rann of Kutch in Gujarat’s Khavda village as the largest single sited solar park of the country, said NTPC
- Once it is complete, the utility plans to also generate green hydrogen on a commercial scale from the park
India’s state owned utility NTPC Ltd., has secured a go-ahead from the federal Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) through its renewable energy arm NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd. (NTPC REL), to set up what it terms as the country’s single largest solar park with 4.75 GW capacity.
It will be developing the project under Mode 8 of the Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Power Park (UMREPP) program of the government.
The 4.75 GW solar park will be located in Khavada village’s salt marsh called Rann of Kutch (also spelt as Kachchh) in the Thar desert. Previously, NTPC was reported to be planning an ultra-mega solar park in Kutch district with up to 5 GW capacity for an investment of INR 40 million per MW (see NTPC Planning 5 GW Ultra Mega Solar Park In Gujarat).
The 4.75 GW solar project should be part of the 30 GW solar and wind energy park planned by the state of Gujarat in Rann of Kutch, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2020 (see India PV News Snippets: Gujarat, IEX, AMP, AAI).
NTPC added that it plans to generate green hydrogen on a commercial scale from this park on completion. India is to launch a Hydrogen Energy Mission in 2021-22 to generate green hydrogen from renewables, as announced by the Finance Ministry in February 2021 (see Solar Power Figures Big In Indian Budget 2021-22).
Local business newspaper Mint pointed out that the Indian government is considering a proposal to make it mandatory for fertilizer plants and oil refineries to procure green hydrogen to contribute to decarbonization efforts at national level.
Around 175 kms from the Rann of Kutch, in Jamnagar, Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani will be setting up his 4 gigafactories as announced recently, including one for integrated solar manufacturing, and electrolyzers (see Indian Billionaire Wants 4 New Energy Gigafactories).
NTPC also announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Union Territory of Ladakh to set up India’s ‘1st’ green hydrogen mobility project under which it will ply 5 hydrogen business. To this end, the utility will set up a solar power plant and a green hydrogen generation unit in Leh. It recently inaugurated its maiden solar installations in Leh as solar trees and a solar carport.
Floating solar is another application for solar power that it has been pursuing. NTPC has commissioned a 10 MW AC project on the reservoir of Simhadri Thermal Power Plant in Andhra Pradesh, calling it the country’s largest floating solar facility, and plans to expand it by another 15 MW AC by August 2021. It is also working on a 100 MW floating solar project to be situated on Ramagundam Thermal Power Plant in Telangana.
In June 2021, NTPC officially announced an increase in its renewable energy target, aiming to increase it from 32 GW by 2032 to 60 GW (see NTPC Targeting 60 GW Renewables Capacity By 2032).