World’s largest Solar Park launched in Karnataka
2 weeks ago Rishita Raj 0
The park named as “Shakti Sthala” is launched by Karnataka government in Pavagada in Tumakuru district, about 180km from Bengaluru is the world’s largest solar park. The park spans over 13,000 acres(53km square) spread over five villages. The park has been built by a total investment of Rs16,500 crore with the capacity of 2,000MW.
The first phase will constitute of 600MW while the remaining 1,400MW will be commissioned by the end of this year. This solar park is a part of the “Karnataka Solar Policy 2014-2021” which aims to decrease the dependency on the traditional power sources and setting up environment-friendly systems to meet the need of power in the state.
The solar park is also a part of the “Nava Karnataka Nirmana” campaign led by Siddaramaiah (chief minister of Karnataka) Congress government, which is used by the party in the run-up to the 2018 assembly elections to highlight their contribution in development, creating jobs.
The park also ties in with the centre’s scheme to generate 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2020.The development of the park was initiated with the creation of the Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation Ltd (KSPDC) as a joint venture between Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL).The land for the solar park has been taken by the government from around 2,300 farmers, and in return, the farmers are paid Rs 21,000 per acre of their land annually and along with that, the amount has scope for 5% increase in every two years.
The chief minister of Karnataka said that the state has emerged as the third largest producer of the renewable energy sources in the country and was taking bold steps to emerge as an energy surplus state.He also added that they have set the goal to a source at least 20 percent of people’s power requirements from renewable projects.
Pavagada in Tumkur district was best chosen as the project site due to several reasons such as high solar radiation, availability of land, scarce population(mostly poor farmers) as well as low annual rainfall. In the past decades, it has been declared drought-hit 54 times. Most of the villagers have migrated to Bangalore (located 180km away for economic development).