The NRDC India team recently had a site visit to the largest solar park in the world in the district of Kurnool in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Kurnool is home to the 1,000 MW solar park—the largest single-location operational solar park in the world.
The Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park is just the beginning. The Andhra Pradesh government has another massive 1,500 MW solar park slated in the region of Kadapa, and two more large scale solar parks nearing completion.
Andhra Pradesh is the one of the leading Indian states in solar energy
What is an “ultra-mega solar park”?
An “ultra-mega solar park” is a solar power project greater than 500 MW. India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced plans in 2014 to accelerate large scale solar energy with a target of achieving 20,000 MW of solar parks by 2019. NRDC and our partners, CEEW, worked with MNRE and others to scope and analyze the use of emerging solar parks in our 2012 report, Laying the Foundation for a Bright Future.
Highlights of the Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park
- Ownership: The solar park is a combination of state and central government partnership. As the implementing agency, the Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation Pvt Ltd (APSPCL) is a joint venture between the state and central government. The national Solar Energy Corporation of India has 50% of APSPCL shares, while the state power generation company, APGENCO has 41%, and the state New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation holds 9%.
- Land Acquisition and Transmission Systems: APSPCL led the park development by acquiring over 9 square miles of land as well as developing common roads, drainage, data monitoring and more. APSCL also worked with developers to raise ₹500,000 ($7,700) per MW from each developer to create a local area development fund for improvements in the surrounding villages, such as roads, drains and drinking water.
- Workforce:Local skilled and semi-skilled workers are given preference for job opportunities in the solar park. Over 2,500 skilled and unskilled jobs are employed during the construction phase. GreenKo established an innovative skill development center at the site of the solar park conducts training for local qualified workers, which we had a chance to visit and interact with the engaging trainees.