Marking Milestones in Renewable Energy

Posted By : Anantha Narayanan K

“Karnataka is leading the Indian states in RE sector which includes solar, wind, hydro, biomass etc. From wind, we generate 4600 MW power and from solar it is above 5000 MW which makes the state number one in solar energy too. We have 3000 MW solar projects in the pipeline which will be completed by next year. GoK has approved projects for 2500-3000 MW in wind energy sector and they are in the preliminary stage. KREDL is striving to complete the projects in the pipeline within stipulated time frames. In the coming years, Karnataka will undoubtedly become self-reliant in power sector,” says D Nagaraj, Managing Director, KREDL,  in an interview with Anantha Narayanan of Advantage Karnataka. With an increasing social acceptance of green energy and various gadgets based on them, Karnataka, which is endowed with RE potential like wind, hydro, solar, tidal, geothermal energy resources etc. is pushing the limits to reap the maximum.

Over the past few years, Karnataka has become the pioneer in renewable energy sector, achieving several remarkable milestones. The state now produces 12300 MW of clean and pure energy from renewable sources like wind and solar. With an increasing social acceptance of green energy and various gadgets based on them, the state, which is endowed with RE potential like wind, hydro, solar, tidal, geothermal energy resources etc. is pushing the limits to reap the maximum. Innovations in wind turbine and micro-siting technologies have resulted in accelerated wind farms establishment. Innovations in Solar photovoltaic and thermal technology have made it feasible to harness grid and off grid solar power generation projects a reality. Behind these achievements, the role played by Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) is to be acknowledged.

The Government of Karnataka has established KREDL in 1996, with the mandate to undertake development of renewable energy through private/public sector and community participation under the umbrella of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India. With a vision of harnessing green and clean renewable energy sources in the state for environment benefits and Energy Security, KREDL is the nodal agency for the implementation of the RE Policy. KREDL is responsible for laying down the procedure for inviting of proposals from Independent Power Producers (IPP’s), DPR, evaluation of project proposals, project approvals, project implementation, operation & monitoring.

“Karnataka is leading the Indian states in RE sector which includes solar, wind, hydro, biomass etc. From wind, we generate 4600 MW power and from solar it is above 5000 MW which makes the state number one in solar energy too. We have 3000 MW solar and 2000 MW wind projects in the pipeline which will be completed by next year,” says D Nagaraj, Managing Director, KREDL. Energy conservation is a crucial & vital input for economic development and assumes critical importance for a developing state like Karnataka. The overall goal of the KREDL is to ensure that in the context of providing increasing energy to meet the demands of a growing population, Energy Efficiency is promoted using various approaches and incentives.

Karnataka is the Top Solar State in India with 5 GW in Cumulative Installed Capacity and the solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity has crossed the 5 GW mark in the first quarter of 2018 to transform it into India’s top solar PV state. So far in 2018, Karnataka has maintained its brisk pace of solar project commissioning.  “We intend to make Karnataka a model renewable energy state. KREDL is easing the process of developing solar projects in the state and the current installation numbers are a validation of the same. If you look at the last two quarters, no other state has come close to Karnataka in terms of project commissioning,” says Nagaraj.

Pavagada Solar Park- The Eighth Wonder of World

While inaugurating Pavagada Solar Park, touted to the world’s largest of its kind, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called it the World’ Eighth Wonder. The park, named Shakthi Sthala, is developed by Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation Limited (KSPDCL), a JV company with equity stake of 50% each between Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), GoI and KREDL. It is the first Solar Park of the state for a cumulative capacity of 2000MW in around 13000 acres which is the first of its type in the entire world wherein 2000MWs is generated at a single park.

The ₹14,500-crore solar park was an important milestone in the history of Karnataka. The project will make Karnataka self-reliant in power production. The first phase of the park is capable of producing 600 MW and the remaining 1400 MW will be added by December 2018. Shakti Sthala will be the world’s largest solar power project once it attains its full potential of 2,000 MW. Entire 2000MW from Pavagada solar park will be connected to the grid by June 2019.

The project has been executed within a record time of two years, with zero land acquisition. The farmers have leased out their land to the government for 28 years and are still the owners of their land. The tariff has been fixed at ₹3.30 per unit and farmers have been given the scope to grow by 5 per cent every two years. The farmers who have leased out their lands have joined the government as partners, shareholders, stakeholders, and are also beneficiaries of the mega project.

Development and economic growth of a drought-hit region attracts industries, which in turn will help in job creation and prevent migration of unemployed youth. Pavagada is the ideal example of this. It is one of the most drought-prone regions in the state and has witnessed a large-scale migration over the past few years as people fled to nearby villages in search of livelihood. It region has been has been declared drought-hit in 54 of the last 60 years. More than 10,000 people had migrated annually from Pavagada. But, the solar park has changed the outlook of this area.

“In the Pavagada Solar Park the infrastructure development is happening at a satisfactory pace. Moreover, the park spread across 13000 acres of bone dry land, has revived the lives of farmers who were forced to abandon their lands and flee due to extreme drought.  “Around 2300 farmers, who have leased out their land for setting up the park, will get Rs.21000 per acre every year. The project boosts the economic activities in the most backward taluk. We are empowering old age-people by transferring the money through RTGS to their bank accounts. The area is developing fast with new roads, farmers getting new tractors and all. The area has had the land rates at Rs.25000 per acre before the solar park was set up. But now they have risen to Rs.4-5 lakh which will be a great boon for the people here,” says Nagaraj.

KREDL Initiatives

KREDL is entrusted with the responsibility to liaise with other agencies in the fields of Non-conventional Energy, Energy Conservation, and Rural Technology. Being the Renewable Energy facilitator, KREDL collects and collate information regarding alternative sources of energy, conservation, and rural technologies. KREDL takes special steps to acquire develop and demonstrate suitable renewable energy technologies. It strives to enhance energy efficiency by energy conservation and management efforts and maximise the renewable energy mix.

“An important initiative is providing Solar Pumps for farmers in the off-grid region through Surya Raitha Scheme. Each pump costs around Rs.3.5- 4.5 lakhs. For SC/ST people it is free and for others they have to pay Rs.1 lakh and the rest will be covered by the State Government and MNRE. The pumps will be a great boon for farmers in those regions where power supply is not available. KREDL facilitates the project, identifies the eligible farmers and processes the application,” says Nagaraj.

Promotion of installing Grid connected Rooftop Solar Systems on roof in residential, commercial, Industrial buildings and Institutions, thereby make individual power house is another initiative. The government targets a 2300MW Grid connected Solar Rooftop Systems by 2022 in Karnataka. KREDL collaborates with other nodal agencies in the sector to ensure that more people are showing interest in rooftop solar systems and similar off-grid power generation.

“KREDL is striving to complete the projects in the pipeline within stipulated time frames. GoK has approved projects for 2500-3000 MW in wind energy sector and they are in the preliminary stage. Power generation from biomass is another focus sector of KREDL. Scientific processing & treatment of municipal waste entails power generation besides environmental benefits. But the priority is solar sector and we are very successful in that. In the coming years, Karnataka will undoubtedly become self-reliant in power sector,” says Nagaraj.

Over the past few years, Karnataka has become the pioneer in renewable energy sector, achieving several remarkable milestones. The state now produces 12300 MW of clean and pure energy from renewable sources like wind and solar. With an increasing social acceptance of green energy and various gadgets based on them, the state, which is endowed with RE potential like wind, hydro, solar, tidal, geothermal energy resources etc. is pushing the limits to reap the maximum. Innovations in wind turbine and micro-siting technologies have resulted in accelerated wind farms establishment. Innovations in Solar photovoltaic and thermal technology have made it feasible to harness grid and off grid solar power generation projects a reality. Behind these achievements, the role played by Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) is to be acknowledged.

The Government of Karnataka has established KREDL in 1996, with the mandate to undertake development of renewable energy through private/public sector and community participation under the umbrella of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India. With a vision of harnessing green and clean renewable energy sources in the state for environment benefits and Energy Security, KREDL is the nodal agency for the implementation of the RE Policy. KREDL is responsible for laying down the procedure for inviting of proposals from Independent Power Producers (IPP’s), DPR, evaluation of project proposals, project approvals, project implementation, operation & monitoring.

“Karnataka is leading the Indian states in RE sector which includes solar, wind, hydro, biomass etc. From wind, we generate 4600 MW power and from solar it is above 5000 MW which makes the state number one in solar energy too. We have 3000 MW solar and 2000 MW wind projects in the pipeline which will be completed by next year,” says D Nagaraj, Managing Director, KREDL. Energy conservation is a crucial & vital input for economic development and assumes critical importance for a developing state like Karnataka. The overall goal of the KREDL is to ensure that in the context of providing increasing energy to meet the demands of a growing population, Energy Efficiency is promoted using various approaches and incentives.

Karnataka is the Top Solar State in India with 5 GW in Cumulative Installed Capacity and the solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity has crossed the 5 GW mark in the first quarter of 2018 to transform it into India’s top solar PV state. So far in 2018, Karnataka has maintained its brisk pace of solar project commissioning.  “We intend to make Karnataka a model renewable energy state. KREDL is easing the process of developing solar projects in the state and the current installation numbers are a validation of the same. If you look at the last two quarters, no other state has come close to Karnataka in terms of project commissioning,” says Nagaraj.

Pavagada Solar Park- The Eighth Wonder of World

While inaugurating Pavagada Solar Park, touted to the world’s largest of its kind, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called it the World’ Eighth Wonder. The park, named Shakthi Sthala, is developed by Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation Limited (KSPDCL), a JV company with equity stake of 50% each between Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), GoI and KREDL. It is the first Solar Park of the state for a cumulative capacity of 2000MW in around 13000 acres which is the first of its type in the entire world wherein 2000MWs is generated at a single park.

The ₹14,500-crore solar park was an important milestone in the history of Karnataka. The project will make Karnataka self-reliant in power production. The first phase of the park is capable of producing 600 MW and the remaining 1400 MW will be added by December 2018. Shakti Sthala will be the world’s largest solar power project once it attains its full potential of 2,000 MW. Entire 2000MW from Pavagada solar park will be connected to the grid by June 2019.

The project has been executed within a record time of two years, with zero land acquisition. The farmers have leased out their land to the government for 28 years and are still the owners of their land. The tariff has been fixed at ₹3.30 per unit and farmers have been given the scope to grow by 5 per cent every two years. The farmers who have leased out their lands have joined the government as partners, shareholders, stakeholders, and are also beneficiaries of the mega project.

Development and economic growth of a drought-hit region attracts industries, which in turn will help in job creation and prevent migration of unemployed youth. Pavagada is the ideal example of this. It is one of the most drought-prone regions in the state and has witnessed a large-scale migration over the past few years as people fled to nearby villages in search of livelihood. It region has been has been declared drought-hit in 54 of the last 60 years. More than 10,000 people had migrated annually from Pavagada. But, the solar park has changed the outlook of this area.

“In the Pavagada Solar Park the infrastructure development is happening at a satisfactory pace. Moreover, the park spread across 13000 acres of bone dry land, has revived the lives of farmers who were forced to abandon their lands and flee due to extreme drought.  “Around 2300 farmers, who have leased out their land for setting up the park, will get Rs.21000 per acre every year. The project boosts the economic activities in the most backward taluk. We are empowering old age-people by transferring the money through RTGS to their bank accounts. The area is developing fast with new roads, farmers getting new tractors and all. The area has had the land rates at Rs.25000 per acre before the solar park was set up. But now they have risen to Rs.4-5 lakh which will be a great boon for the people here,” says Nagaraj.

KREDL Initiatives

KREDL is entrusted with the responsibility to liaise with other agencies in the fields of Non-conventional Energy, Energy Conservation, and Rural Technology. Being the Renewable Energy facilitator, KREDL collects and collate information regarding alternative sources of energy, conservation, and rural technologies. KREDL takes special steps to acquire develop and demonstrate suitable renewable energy technologies. It strives to enhance energy efficiency by energy conservation and management efforts and maximise the renewable energy mix.

“An important initiative is providing Solar Pumps for farmers in the off-grid region through Surya Raitha Scheme. Each pump costs around Rs.3.5- 4.5 lakhs. For SC/ST people it is free and for others they have to pay Rs.1 lakh and the rest will be covered by the State Government and MNRE. The pumps will be a great boon for farmers in those regions where power supply is not available. KREDL facilitates the project, identifies the eligible farmers and processes the application,” says Nagaraj.

Promotion of installing Grid connected Rooftop Solar Systems on roof in residential, commercial, Industrial buildings and Institutions, thereby make individual power house is another initiative. The government targets a 2300MW Grid connected Solar Rooftop Systems by 2022 in Karnataka. KREDL collaborates with other nodal agencies in the sector to ensure that more people are showing interest in rooftop solar systems and similar off-grid power generation.

“KREDL is striving to complete the projects in the pipeline within stipulated time frames. GoK has approved projects for 2500-3000 MW in wind energy sector and they are in the preliminary stage. Power generation from biomass is another focus sector of KREDL. Scientific processing & treatment of municipal waste entails power generation besides environmental benefits. But the priority is solar sector and we are very successful in that. In the coming years, Karnataka will undoubtedly become self-reliant in power sector,” says Nagaraj.

" target="_blank">