Sukhi Scheme And Gujarat’s Growing Solar Parks - Bright Solar

by Meeth Kumar

Posted on May 15, 2018 at 16:30 PM

On May 8, 2018, the Government of Gujarat announced a subsidy scheme on solar panels for farmers in a bid to encourage farmers to utilize the panels on their farms. The scheme is called the ‘Sukhi Scheme’. It includes a provision that allows farmers to sell surplus energy generated by their solar power units to government-owned energy companies, according to Mr. Saurabh Patel, the Energy Minister of Gujarat.

This is great news for the state that already ranks amongst the highest in solar power production in India. As of April 21, 2018, Gujarat’s solar power grid had a net capacity of 1,612 MW, thanks in no small part to the Charanka Solar Park, which has grown to a capacity of 590 MW.

The Solar Park is located at village Charanka, District Patan in Gujarat spread across 5,384 acres of unused land. The integrated "Solar Park" has state of art infrastructure with provision to harness rainwater beside generating power. The park will eventually have a solar power production capacity of 790 MW.

The Solar Park is truly a boon for renewable energy in Gujarat as it will also have the capacity to generate 100 MW of Wind Power. Presently two Wind Turbines, each of 2.1 MW, have been commissioned, making Charanka Solar Park the biggest solar-wind hybrid Park in the world. This facility also accounts for 3,42,400 tons of Carbon Emission Reductions (CERs) which is one of the largest CERs contributing Project in the Renewable Energy Sector.

                                                 Satellite image of the 5384 acre Charanka Solar Park.

It was all done at a cost of Rs. 4500 Crores, which included Rs. 550 Crores for infrastructure and land acquisition and Rs. 3,996 crores for Solar Power Plant (through Developers investment). The park also benefited the local economy immensely by creating employment for more than 1,000 people on a permanent basis.

Already being a champion of renewable energy, Gujarat is showing no sign of stopping as it prepares itself for the energy demands of the future. On April 10, 2018, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had approved the development of a 5,000 MW capacity solar park at the Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR), which would be the largest such entity in the world after its completion.

The proposed solar power generation project would be set up in 11,000 hectares of land with an investment of Rs 25,000 crore, according to an official release. The project will contribute significantly to achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi's target of producing 175 gigawatts of electricity through renewable energy sources by 2022, said Rupani.

The chief minister maintained that the solar park would not only provide employment to over 20,000 people but also open new manufacturing avenues for the entire supply chain in and around the Dholera International City. The Energy Secretary of Gujarat, Sujit Gulati, later mentioned that the state government plans to add 2,000 MW of solar power capacity every year for the next five years. The Dholera Solar Park development should play a major part in helping meet the government’s power production targets. Being based in Ahmedabad, the Bright Solar team is proud to see our home state make such rapid advancement in total solar power production capacity and we shall strive to contribute to it.

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