The Pavagada Solar Park, touted to be the largest in the world, will be launched by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on March 1.
The 2,000 MW solar park, also called the Shakti Sthala, is situated at Pavagada in Tumakuru district of Karnataka. The massive park has been built over 13,000 acres across five villages with an investment of Rs 16,500 crore.
According to a press statement, "The project has been executed within a record time of two years, with zero land acquisition. Moreover, the farmers who have leased out their land are reaping greater benefits with Rs 21,000 per acre being offered as rental, an amount which has the scope to grow by 5% every two years."
One of the most drought-prone regions in the state, Pavagada has witnessed large scale migration over the last decade. With the solar park, the government aims to help local farmers and also create a source of unlimited clean energy.
"Pavagada, in Tumkur district, is one of the most arid regions of our state. Over the last five decades, due to extreme weather conditions and low possibilities of economic growth, more than 10,000 people had migrated annually from Pavagada. To solve this problem, we are building the world's largest Solar Power Park of 2000 MW in Pavagada taluk on mission mode. This ambitious project, spanning five villages, looks at farmers as the key partners, as also beneficiaries. Shakti Sthala is creating new job opportunities and economic growth leading to the prosperity of the people of Pavagada," DK Shivakumar, state energy minister, said.
Under the 'Karnataka Solar Policy 2014-2021' launched in May 2014, several innovative policies and initiatives are being implemented across different parts of the state. As of January 2018, 5092 MW capacity has been distributed, while projects of 2490 MW capacity have been implemented, the government said.
The government claims that the state has, for the first time, recorded a massive capacity of 23,379 MW by the end of January 2018 in just four years. The state has also been awarded for Excellence in Renewable Energy by the Government of India.
The Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited, it said, has strengthened 311 substations and started 141 new substations of various capacities in just four years.
"As a result, people are gaining more power, with transmission losses reduced from 3.81% in 2012- 2013 to 3.288% in 2016-17 The number of substations has increased from 1,353 in 2012-13 to 1494 in January 2018. 40 new substations have been set up in 2017-18 alone, increasing the overall transmission line capacity of various voltages," it said.