I used to write about specific solar power plants nearly every week (or even several times a week). However, I’ve decided to leave such stories alone (there are so many of them) unless the power plant is really large (by solar standards) or very special in some other way.
50 MW is really large.
Furthemore, the solar power plant, which is located in Rajasthan (India) was completed in just 5 months!
The solar developer, Welspun Energy Limited, commissioned 15 MW earlier this year, and it has now completed the remaining 35 MW. Here are more details from Welspun:
This is the largest solar project to be developed by Welspun Energy till date and is also the largest PV power plant in India. The entire 50 MW solar project, located near Phalodi, Jodhpur District was developed in three phases of 15, 15 and 20 MW. The PV project will generate total electricity of 90 Mn kWh annually and supply clean energy to power 25 million families . With the commissioning of this project, an estimated 83,220 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions will be mitigated each year.
“Largest PV power plant” depends on how you categorize a power plant. A 600-MW solar power project was completed and commissioned in Gujarat, India back in early 2012. However, that is made up of separate solar projects (or “power plants”). Nonetheless, even those are 50 MW each.
India has had ambitious solar energy plans for awhile. It is now targeting 30 GW of additional solar capacity by 2017. To put that in perspective, about 30 GW of solar power capacity were added worldwide in 2011 and again in 2012. Nonetheless, solar is now cheaper than diesel in India, and the country has many people without electricity or with unreliable electricity. Even if India doesn’t hit its 30-GW target, it’s sure to add a lot of solar power in the coming years.