- SJVN Limited’s 1 GW Bikaner Solar Project has entered construction near village Banderwala in Rajasthan
- It is expected to generate 56,838 million units over a period of 25 years, equipped with locally manufactured solar cells and modules
- The facility is likely to come online by March 2024 as part of India’s CPSU Scheme Phase-II, tranche-III
Indian President Droupadi Murmu has laid the foundation stone of Indian hydropower utility SJVN Limited’s 1 GW Bikaner Solar Power Project in Rajasthan, along with virtually inaugurating the transmission system for solar energy zones in the state.
SJVN is executing the project through its wholly owned subsidiary SJVN Green Energy Limited (SGEL) on land it has purchased near the village Banderwala in Bikaner district.
Calling it one of the highest solar yield areas in India, SJVN said the project will be located on 5,000 acres of land. The project is scheduled to come online by March 2024 and expected to generate 2,454.55 million units in the 1st year and close to 56,838 million units cumulatively over 25 years.
SJVN Chairman and Managing Director Nand Lal Sharma said the project will be equipped with domestically manufactured solar PV cells and modules and contribute to the achievement of the national goal of 500 GW renewable energy capacity in India’s energy mix by 2030.
While SJVN calculates the development cost of this project as amounting to INR 54.92 billion ($662.5 million), it will get a viability gap funding (VGF) support of over INR 4 million per MW from the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) since it secured the project under a competitive auction process conducted by the latter as part of the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme Phase-II, tranche-III.
Recently, SJVN also secured a loan of INR 44.45 billion ($537 million) from IREDA for the project (see India PV News Snippets).
According to the utility, “The maximum usage charges have been fixed at Rs. 2.57 ($0.031) per kWh, which will help in providing cheaper electricity to the consumers.” It added, “The power generated by the project shall be for self-use or use by Government/Government entities, either directly or through Distribution Companies (DISCOMS).”
Through the Bikaner project, SJVN expects to generate 150 to 200 direct and 800 to 1000 indirect jobs. In May 2022, it awarded the EPC deal for this project to Tata Power Solar (see SJVN Picks Tata Power Solar For 1 GW EPC Deal).
SJVN has an overarching ambition to grow its power generation capacity to 5 GW by 2023, 25 GW by 2030 and 50 GW by 2040. Currently, it touts a total project portfolio of around 45 GW and is developing 73 hydro, solar, wind and thermal power projects in India and Nepal.