The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced an extension of the timeline for the “Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects” program until March 31, 2026. This extension allows for more time to achieve the program’s goals without any financial implications.
Initially launched in December 2014, the program aimed to establish a minimum of 25 solar parks and ultra mega solar power projects with a combined capacity of 20 GW within five years, starting from the fiscal year 2014-15. In March 2017, the program’s capacity target was increased to 40 GW, with the parks expected to be operational by the fiscal year 2023-24.
Under this program, solar parks must have a capacity of 500 MW or higher, while smaller parks are considered only in cases of limited availability of non-agricultural or contiguous land. Solar parks have emerged as an attractive option for large-scale grid-connected solar power projects, as they effectively address challenges related to land availability and acquisition. Additionally, solar parks offer economic feasibility to developers due to the minimized legal issues and other variables involved.
In February this year, Union Minister for Renewable Energy and Power, RK Sing, has approved the establishment of five solar parks in Andhra Pradesh. These parks, estimated to cost around Rs. 16,400 crore, will have a combined capacity of 4,100 MW, contributing to the overall renewable energy infrastructure of the state.