• The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has shared it is working on setting up an ultra-mega solar park (UMSP) in Gujarat’s Kutch district
  • For the first phase of the 5 GW park, the bidding process is likely to be launched by March 2020
  • The utility expects an investment of INR 200 billion on setting up this park for which it may invite developers and investors to put in their money
  • It is also considering setting up another such UMSP in Rajasthan but the capacity or location hasn’t been decided as yet

Undeterred by the unenthusiastic response of solar power project developers to big tenders, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) of India remains optimistic on its solar strategy. The country’s largest power utility is mulling an ultra-mega solar park (UMSP) in Kutch district of Gujarat with up to 5 GW of total capacity, reported local media. The region is world famous for its white salty desert sand.

NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Gurdeep Singh while interacting with reporters said the company has identified the location in Kutch and will soon begin the process of land acquisition for the 5 GW solar park. For the first phase of the park, the bidding process will be launched by March 2020.

NTPC expects the park to be set up for INR 40 million ($0.56 million) per MW with a total investment of INR 200 billion ($2.79 billion) which will be arranged in a 70:30 debt-equity ratio.

It will also invite developers to set up their projects in the solar park and sell the power to NTPC or to others outside the park. Till now, all Indian solar parks were supposed to be developed by a government agency with developers setting up their individual solar projects within the park.

Of the power generated from the Kutch UMSP, NTPC expects to sell up to 70% on merchant sale basis and retain 30% to be supplied under power purchase agreements.

Singh shared that NTPC is also looking at another ultra-mega solar park in Rajasthan but for that one it will be only able to decide capacity and investment after finalizing the location.

Gujarat is working on another 5 GW solar project, Dholera Solar Park in Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR), for which GUVNL’s 1 GW solar tender found only two interested companies that secured a total of 250 MW. The major part, 750 MW, was re-tendered in June 2019 (see GUVNL Issues Tenders For 950 MW Solar).