THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Compared to sector-leaders like Andhra Pradesh or Rajasthan it may seem trifling, but for Kerala it’s still a big leap ‘sunward.’ In the next few months, the state’s combined solar power capacity is tipped to touch the 100 MW mark.
The combined capability now stands at a little over 90 MW, with a number of projects set to be completed soon and several others in the pipeline, according to the KSEB. Crossing the 100 MW milestone is significant for the state because two years ago, the installed capacity had stood at a meagre 5 MW, R Suku, chief engineer (Renewable Energy and Energy Savings), KSEB, said.
Currently, the state’s solar power capacity includes 13 MW of the KSEB and 21.5 MW of the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL).
"The Kasargod solar park (implemented by the Solar Energy Corporation Ltd of India) is now capable of generating 36 MW, which, when the first phase is completed will go up to 50 MW,” he said. Projects of the Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) and other grid-connected solar power plants generate another 9 MW, Suku said. In addition to these, off-grid projects account for 14 MW.
In the coming months, a bouquet of solar projects are expected to be commissioned, taking the total installed solar capacity well across the 100 MW milestone.
Projects of the KSEB worth 10 MW are set to be completed soon, with another 4.71 MW worth of projects in the tendering stage. Work is also expected to start soon on the subsequent stages of the 200 MW Kasargod solar park project.
“KSEB had strengthened its solar initiatives with the establishment of the RE&ES wing two years ago. Moreover, solar energy prospects are sunnier now with tariffs falling drastically to Rs 2.62 per unit,” he said.