India is betting big on renewable energy. While renewable energy is gaining global attention, solar power has emerged as a highly viable energy source capable of significantly reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Solar power plants in India generally employ photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies. In this blog, we will take you through the top solar projects and give a detailed guide on the green energy landscape in India.
Let’s begin by understanding exactly what a solar power plant is.
Understanding Solar Power Plants and Their Types
A solar power plant is a facility that converts sunlight into electricity. This means you can power up your home without relying on the electrical grid. The main function of a solar power plant is to use the radiation from the sun’s rays for industrial and domestic purposes.
Now, let’s delve into the various Types of Solar Power Plants:
Types of Solar Power Plant
1. Solar Thermal Power Plant – This is a conventional solar power plant in India. Mirrors concentrate the sun’s rays on a radiation collector. A heating element, usually a thermal oil, gets heated in the process. Finally, a turbine converts the heated energy into electricity.
2. Solar Photovoltaic Plant – It is made up of PV modules and an inverter. The PV panels produce electricity through the photovoltaic effect. The inverter converts direct current into alternating current, and the panels inject the electricity into the distribution network. The entire energy is consumed with no waste.
Now that we’ve discussed the basics, let’s take a look at the top 5 solar power plants currently in India.
Top 5 Solar Power Plants in India
India is rapidly expanding its solar capacity to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. The massive infrastructure boost is augmenting the growth of solar energy in the country. That said, here are the top 5 solar power plants in India:
1. Bhadla Solar Power Plant, Rajasthan
The Bhadla solar power plant project is the largest in the country. Located in Rajasthan, the facility is spread over 5700 hectares of dry land. It is the biggest solar power plant in India.
Here are a few key highlights of the biggest solar power plant in India:
- The name of the infrastructure is derived from the village of Bhadla.
- Temperatures usually range anywhere between 45 to 50 degrees Celsius, making the place inhospitable to survive. This is also an ideal place for generating solar energy.
- Due to frequent sandstorms, the panels require regular cleaning to maintain their optimum capacity. They are cleaned by robots monitored by humans.
- The total energy output is enough to power 4.5 million households every year.
2. Pavagada Solar Park, Karnataka
The Shakti Sthala Solar Power Project, or Pavagada Solar Park, has been developed in Pavagada, Tumkur district, Karnataka. The estimated investment in the project is $2.5 billion. It covers a total area of 13000 acres and provides electricity to the villages of Vallur, Tirumani, and Raycharlu.
The Pavagada taluk is a semi-arid region with little to no rainfall. The high solar radiation makes it the best place to absorb solar energy.
3. Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park, Andhra Pradesh
Another gigantic solar power plant in India is on the list. You must have guessed it right. The solar park at Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, is an impressive facility. The 1000 MW project has generated a whopping 800 million units of energy, saving over 700,000-plus tonnes of carbon dioxide.
4. Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Park, Madhya Pradesh
The 750 MW project covers a total area of 1590 hectares in the Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh. It is the only solar power plant in India to get concessional loan rates from the World Bank and CTF. Plus, it has received the World Bank Group’s President’s Award for achieving innovation and excellence.
5. Floating Solar Project, Ramagundam, Telangana
A solar power plant in India is usually built on the ground. But nothing beats the unique properties of the facility at Ramagundam in the state of Telangana. The 100 MW solar photovoltaic unit is floating on the reservoir. Feero-cement floating platforms have been constructed to balance all the electrical equipment.
Here are a few advantages of the plant:
- No land degradation
- High power generation in comparison to a conventional solar farm in India.
- Water evaporation
Additionally, the government is planning to build many other solar projects in several states. A few of them are listed below.
Upcoming Solar Projects in India
The booming solar energy sector is seeing active participation from several private players in the country. If you want to gain a complete understanding of a solar power plant in India, then take a look below:
1. Ananthapuramu – 2
- Location – Ananthapuram, Andhra Pradesh
- Capacity – 400 MW
- Operator – Solar Energy Corporation of India
2. Mandsaur Solar Farm
- Location – Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh
- Capacity – 250 MW
- Operator – Madhya Pradesh Solar Energy Corporation
3. Sakri Solar Plant
- Location – Dhule, Maharashtra
- Capacity – 125 MW
- Operator – Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited
4. NTPC Solar Plants
- Location – Various places across the country
- Capacity – 110 MW
- Operator – NTPC
5. Tata Power Solar Systems
- Location – Rajgarh, Madhya Pradesh
- Capacity – 50 MW
- Operator – Tata Power
In addition to the above, there are other ultra mega solar parks under construction in more than 13 states across the country.
Now, let’s take a look at the 5 most promising states for a solar power plant in India.
Top 5 States with the Highest Solar Capacity
Renewable energy is set to dominate the total energy generation mix. The proactive steps taken by the government have increased the use of a solar power plant in India. The top solar states are as follows:
A solar power plant in India is not complete without the land of the Rajputs. It’s easy to guess that Rajasthan tops the list when it comes to harnessing solar power. Due to favorable climatic conditions, the state is rapidly expanding into solar energy. Plus, the largest solar park is located in Bhadla, Jodhpur.
The foundation for many projects is being laid. Moreover, the central government has approved approximately 9+ projects in the state. The 300 MW solar capacity will set the stage for future collaborations between infrastructure developers and private investment companies.
Gujarat is the second largest solar-producing state in the country. Together with Rajasthan, it accounts for nearly half of the country’s total solar energy generation. The GUVNL has announced bids for two 600 MW solar projects to be set up at Khavda Renewable Park.
Let us tell you that the Indian government plans to finish the project by 2026, and the infrastructure will be a unique solar power plant in India.
The southwestern state is not lagging behind, as the state government is on a quest to build the world’s largest solar farm. The Pavagada Ultra mega solar project could be the real deal in the coming years.
Almost the size of Manhattan, the estimated power generation will peak at 2000 megawatts- enough for millions of households. (That’s amazing, don’t you agree?)
4. Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu’s total solar power capacity ranks fourth in the country. There are massive plans to set up district-level solar parks, and the installed utilization will increase to 20000 MW by 2030.
The largest single-location power project has been developed by the Adani group with an investment of 45.5 billion. Equivalent to 950 Olympic-sized football fields, the plant has over 2 million solar modules, 154 transformers, 6000 km of cables, and 30,000 tonnes of structure. The one-of-a-kind solar power plant in India generates 680 MW of electricity.
The 5th largest state is Maharashtra, with an estimated capacity of 4.8 GW of power generation. Plus, the fully solar-powered Pench Tiger Reserve is a huge milestone for the state’s economy.
Mahagenco and NTPC are planning to build a joint venture to set up a 2500 MW solar park. The 1727-crore project will be one of the biggest solar power plants in India.
FAQs: List of Solar Power Plants in India
Which city in India is fully solar-powered?
Sanchi, a world heritage site, is set to become India’s first fully powered solar city. Located in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, it will become a 100% solar plant in India.
Which is the first solar park in India?
The first solar power plant in India was set up in Charanka village, Gujarat. Spread across 500 acres, the plant generates 500 MW of solar and wind energy.
Which state in India is no. 1 In solar energy?
Rajasthan is the No. 1 state in terms of solar capacity. Renewable energy accounts for over 60 percent of the state’s installed capacity.
Which is the largest solar power plant in India?
The largest solar power plant is located in Bhadla, Jodhpur. The installed capacity of 2245 MW makes it the largest in the country as of 2023.
Where is India’s largest floating solar power plant?
India’s largest floating solar power plant is located in Ramagundam, Telangana. The 100 MW solar photovoltaic unit is floating over the waters of the NTPC plant reservoir.
The future looks incredibly promising for renewable energy investments in India. Thanks to multiple investments like tax rebates, RECs, and subsidies, setting up solar power plants in India has never been easier. This trend will keep increasing each year and India will become the world leader in the coming decades.