Rajasthan attracts investment worth Rs 1 lakh crore by Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd for solar power projects

Rajasthan, with an installed capacity of 8,644 MW, has become the leading state in the country in solar power generation due to geographical factors

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)

Prakash Bhandari

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd will make its foray into solar power by investing Rs 1 lakh crore in Rajasthan, the hub of green energy in the country.

In its Letter of Intent (LOI) submitted to the state government, the company’s representative Umesh Bhandari stated that it intends to set up 6000 MW solar power projects in the arid districts of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore and Bikaner that could provide employment to 10,000 persons by December 2025.

Reliance Industries Limited has formed Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL), investing Rs 100,000 (~$1342) for 10,000 equity shares of Rs 10 (~$0.13) each.

In Rajasthan, RNESL will require one lakh acres of land to set up its solar plants. The company decided to invest in the state after it started work on developing the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex on 5,000 acres of land in Jamnagar in Gujarat.

Rajasthan, with an installed capacity of 8,644 MW has become the leading state in the country in solar power generation. It is followed by Karnataka (7483 MW) and Gujarat (6052 MW).

The state installed 2,348.47 MW PV capacity in the last 10 months. During this period, it attracted a record investment of Rs 10,000 crore (US$ 1357 million) in the solar sector.

The state under its Solar Power Policy in 2021 cleared customized investment proposals worth Rs 34,200 crore (US$ 4641 million) in the hybrid energy sector in the state. Most of these are related to solar energy. The state’s solar power generation potential has been estimated at 142 GW owing to favourable conditions.

“The state government has set an ambitious target of 30 GW of solar power generation by 2024-25,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has said.

High solar radiation and wind speeds and an abundance of barren land make Rajasthan suitable for utility-scale solar parks. And it is already home to the world’s largest solar park – the 2.25 GW Bhadla Solar Park, located in the Jodhpur district.

“These factors make Rajasthan an attractive destination for domestic and foreign investors looking for opportunities in renewable energy, electricity grid infrastructure, and associated manufacturing,” said Subodh Agarwal, additional chief secretary (energy).

Currently, Adani Green Energy is setting up a 9700 MW solar and hybrid project in the state on 20,000 hectares of land in the desert. Other companies that have invested in solar power in the state include Repower which is setting up a 10,000 MW project, JSW which is also setting up a 10,000 MW project, and Greenco which is setting up a 4500 MW solar power plant in western Rajasthan.

New Delhi-based renewables developer Azure Power this month commissioned a 600 MW grid-connected solar power project awarded to it by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

Azure Power commissioned the project in phases, with the last 100MW going online from this month.

Bikaner district of Rajasthan is the largest single-location solar plant in India owned and operated by a developer.

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