Solar Power Plants in India - Their Features and other details (2023)

In this article on Solar Power Plants in India, we shall discuss their features, What is Solar Power, the evolution of solar power in India, the current status of solar power in India, Government initiatives for the same, and a few other details. This will be very useful for aspirants in the UPSC Prelims Exam.

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Also, study the NCERT Notes on Geography Environment from the linked article.

Solar Power Plants in India (UPSC Geography): Download PDF Here!

What is the meaning of Solar Energy?

  • The energy we obtain through the sun is known as solar energy.
  • We obtain sufficient energy via the Sun to fulfill our energy needs if we can just manage it appropriately.
  • The energy received by the earth is utilized for a variety of purposes, including drying clothes, photosynthesis, and heating dwellings.
  • Energy is also received by the ocean, which produces wind and heat currents.

Study the NCERT Notes on Types of Rainfall here.

(Video) National Geographic Megastructures featuring Adani’s Solar Power Plant.

List Of Solar Power Plants in India

  • In India, there are a number of solar power parks.
  • In India, there are more than 40 major solar power plants with a capacity of at least 10 megawatts.
S. No. Name of Solar Power Plant State in which it is located
1. Galiveedu Solar Plant Andhra Pradesh
2. NP Kunta Andhra Pradesh
3. Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Plant Andhra Pradesh
4. Kadapa Ultra Mega Solar Plant Andhra Pradesh
5. Kamuthi Solar Power Plant Tamil Nadu
6. Mandsaur Solar Plant Madhya Pradesh
7. Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Madhya Pradesh
8. Pavagada Solar Plant Karnataka
9. Bhadla Solar Plant Rajasthan
10. Charanka Solar Plant Gujarat

Study the NCERT Notes on Endogenic Processes here.

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Major Solar Power Parks in India: Basic Details

NP Kunta Ultra Mega Solar Plant

  • Popularly recognized as the Ananthapuram Ultra Mega Solar Plant, the NP Kunta Ultra Mega Solar Plant is a solar park located in the Nambulapulakunta Mandal in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • It covers a land area of 7,924.76 acres.
  • Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation Private Limited owns the plant and was completed in May 2016. (APSPCL).

Kadapa Ultra Mega Solar Plant

  • It is situated in the Mylavaram Mandal of the Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh.
  • It covers a total area of 5,927.76 acres.
  • Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation Private Limited (APSPCL), a partnership between Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation, and New & Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Ltd, is implementing the initiative.

Kamuthi Solar Power Project

  • It is a 2,500-acres photovoltaic energy facility located in Kamuthi, Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • It is located 90 kilometers from Madurai.

Pavagada Solar Plant

  • It is a solar park located in Pavagada taluk, Tumkur district, Karnataka, with a total size of 53 square kilometers (13,000 acres).
  • It is the world’s second-largest photovoltaic solar park with a capacity of 2050 MW.
  • It was finished in the year 2019.

Study the NCERT Notes on Continental Drift Theory here.

Charanka Solar Plant

  • It is now under construction on a 2,000-hectare (4,900-acres) parcel of territory near Charanka locality in the Patan district of northern Gujarat.

Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Plant

  • It is a 1,000 MW solar park with a combined size of 5,932.32 acres situated in Panyam Mandal of Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation Private Limited inaugurated it on March 29, 2017.

Bhadla Solar Plant ( Largest Solar Power Plant in the world)

  • It is the largest solar power plant on Earth currently.
  • It is located in Bhadla, Phalodi tehsil, Jodhpur district, Rajasthan, India.
  • It is stretched across a total area of 14,000 acres
  • The climate in the area is “nearly uninhabitable.” The mean temperature here is around 46-48 degrees Celsius. Hot breezes and sand storms are common
  • It has a capacity of 2,245 megawatts (MW)
  • It will become the world’s greatest capacity solar park when it reaches its full potential, with an expenditure of Rs 10,000 crore (US$1.3 billion).

Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Plant

  • It is the nation’s first-ever solar project to achieve grid neutrality.
  • It is Asia’s biggest single solar power plant
  • The project’s executing agency, Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL), is a collaborative effort comprising the Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (MPUVNL) and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).
  • Rewa is India’s first venture to provide energy to a cross-state open connectivity consumer, the Delhi Metro.
  • It is also India’s first initiative involving the use of solar power for railway propulsion.
  • The initiative also received the President’s Medal from the World Bank Group.

Galiveedu Solar Plant

  • The Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corp Pvt Ltd (APSPCL) proposed to establish a solar power plant at Galiveedu, Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • APSPCL is jointly owned by Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Ltd (APGENCO), Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), and Andhra Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Corp. (NREDCAP)
  • As part of the project, a 500MW solar power facility would be erected on 1,214ha of land. Construction of a substation, access roads, and supporting infrastructure, as well as the installation of solar panels, transformers, and transmission lines, are all part of the project.
  • On September 16, 2014, the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet approved the development of a solar power facility in Galiveedu.
  • On July 6, 2016, SECI published a Request for Selection (RFS) for the project.
  • The project is still pending approval from the local authorities as of July 2017.

Mandsaur Solar Plant

  • The 250 MW Mandsaur Solar Project is located in Madhya Pradesh.
  • MPPMCL (Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Ltd) receives 100% of the power generated by the Mandsaur project, which has a capacity of 250 MW.
  • It has two phases to its plan.

India’s Solar Energy Evolution

  • Solar energy is a rapidly growing business in India.
  • As of June 30, 2020, the country’s solar generating capacity was 35.12 GW.
  • Constructing solar power facilities in India has the cheapest capital expenditure per MW in the world.
  • The Indian government made it a priority to generate 20 gigawatts of capacity by 2022, which has been met four years before the deadline.
  • The goal was thus raised in 2015 to 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022 (including 40 GW from rooftop solar), with a projected expenditure of $100 billion.
  • Nearly 42 solar parks have been built in India to provide territory to solar plant developers.
  • India increased its operational solar power production by 233 times in the decade ended March 31, 2020, from 161 MW to 37,627 MW.
  • Rooftop solar power generates 2.1 GW, with 70% of it being used for manufacturing or commercial purposes.
  • India is exploring off-grid solar power for local energy requirements in conjunction to its substantial grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) endeavors.
  • Solar products are also progressively being used to address rural requirements.
  • By the end of 2015, the country had distributed almost one million solar lamps, eliminating the necessity of kerosene usage.
  • A nationwide initiative established 118,700 solar house lighting systems and 46,655 solar street lighting installations that year, and India supplied just over 1.4 million solar cookers.
  • India established the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as a founding member, and it is based in India. India has also proposed the “One Sun, One World, One Grid” proposal to capture limitless solar energy on a worldwide level.

Study the NCERT Notes on Structure of Atmosphere here.

(Video) World's largest solar park in Bhadla, India

Most Common Solar Energy Uses

Photoelectric Cells

  • The sun’s energy is converted into electricity using this technology.
  • Solar energy often is commonly converted into electricity using photovoltaic cells.
  • Photovoltaic cells are silicon chips that capture rays from the sun.
  • The electrons in the cells travel when sunlight penetrates the cells.
  • Current is the movement of electrons in a specific way.
  • Direct current is the type of electricity employed in this process.

Solar Thermal Power Generation

  • Solar thermal power generation is the process of converting solar energy to electricity using thermal energy.
  • Solar radiation is initially used to warm a working fluid, such as gas, water, or any other unstable liquid, in this operation.
  • A turbine converts the heat radiation into mechanical energy.
  • Eventually, mechanical energy is converted to electrical energy using a standard generator which is linked to a turbine.
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