Published on 25th September 2023
The Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Park is one of the 10 largest solar power plant projects in India. Spread across 1,500 hectares in the Gurh tehsil of Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh, the mega solar farm is ranked among the world's largest single-site solar power facilities. This state-led project was conceived and implemented by the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL), a joint venture between the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Madhya Pradesh UrjaVikas Nigam Limited (MPUVN).
The state government played an active role in land acquisition by providing the RUMSL with a large tract of desolate land in a timely manner. This eliminated additional costs or risks associated with land acquisition, as well as resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced people.
The site consisted primarily of open scrub wastelands and a few parcels of rain-fed agricultural land and was predominantly utilized as a firing range by various central defense agencies. The majority of the terrain consisted of a mixture of level and undulating land with an average slope of 2°–3°.
The chosen site for the Rewa solar project had several advantageous characteristics, including undeveloped and dispute-free government land, optimal solar radiation, and unobstructed surroundings for efficient solar potential.
Furthermore, the site’s proximity to state-owned transmission utilities ensured quick electricity transfer to the grid, making it one of the most suitable sites for mega solar power projects in Madhya Pradesh.
In January 2017, RUMS invited bids from solar energy producers. From twenty submissions, eighteen companies were chosen based on financial and technical merits. The 750 MW solar project was auctioned in three 250 MW segments, with Acme Solar, Solenergi, and Mahindra Renewables securing bids at Rs 2.970, Rs 2.974, and Rs 2.979 per unit respectively.
To enhance power distribution, the Power Grid Corporation of India established a 220/400 KV inter-state transmission system as part of the green corridor initiative, streamlining power transport from the project site to end-users.
Although operational since 2018, RUMSP attained its full 750MW installed capacity in early 2020. On July 10, 2020, India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, introduced the project to the nation. The solar park gained global attention with a record low bid of 2.97 INR/kWh, showcasing India's clean energy progress.
The Central Government provided INR 138 crores for the installation of the solar plant in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. Additionally, the World Bank invested USD 440 million in the construction of the Rewa solar plant. In addition, this is the first project to receive funding from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) for a period of forty years at an annual interest rate of 0.25 percent.
Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Limited (MPPMCL) and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) are among the recipients of the power. MPPMCL acts as the parent company overseeing the state's three utilities, responsible for procuring power in large quantities for them. MPPMCL will be allocated 76% of the generated electricity, while DMRC will receive 24%, sufficient to fulfill nearly 90% of its daily requirements.
First Renewable Energy Project in MP: The Rewa Project is the first renewable energy project in Madhya Pradesh to provide 24% of its power to the Delhi Metro and 76% to the state's DISCOMs. It's also the first solar project in India to get funding from the World Bank's Clean Technology Fund, with a low-interest rate for 40 years.
Grid Parity Barrier: This solar project is the first of its kind to cross the grid parity barrier anywhere in the country. Grid parity is achieved when renewable energy sources can provide electricity at a cost that is competitive with or lower than that of the traditional power grid.
It set a new record in its first year, with a tariff of INR 2.97/unit with an increase of Rs. 0.05/unit over 15 years compared to the previous record of INR 4.34/unit.
Mitigating Risk: The project introduced an innovative payment security system with three tiers, setting a pioneering example in India. This approach gained recognition from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, which recommended it as a model for other states due to its successful risk reduction for power companies.
Carbon Emission Reduction: It will contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions up to 15 lakh tonnes of CO2 annually.
Global Recognition: The project received the World Bank Group President Award in recognition of its exceptional excellence and innovation. Comprehensive insights about this project can be found in India's Prime Minister's book titled "A Book of Innovation: New Beginnings."
The Rewa Solar Power Project has demonstrated significant economies of scale in solar power generation, lowered transaction costs for private investment players, and increased efficiency while decreasing the unit cost of solar power.
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