India and the World Bank has recently signed upon a $98 million loan pact, and a $2 million grant agreement to help the country increase power generation capacity through cleaner, renewable energy sources. The Shared Infrastructure for Solar Park Project will fund Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA), to provide sub-loans to states to invest in various solar parks, the World Bank said. The solar parks will be typically under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) Solar Recreation area Structure, it said.
The first two solar parks are in the Rewa and Mandsaur districts of Madhya Pradesh, with targeted installed capacities of 750 MW and 250 MW respectively, it said. Other state governments where potential solar parks could be recognized under this project are in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Haryana.
The government is committed to establishing an allowing environment for solar technology penetration in the country, said Sameer Kumar Khare–Joint Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs. “This Task will help establish large-scale solar parks and support the governments intend to install 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar powered energy out of a complete renewable-energy target of 175 GW by 2022,” he said in the statement.
The IREDA will utilize the financing under this project to develop the common infrastructure such as power pooling substations, intra-park transmission infrastructure and offer access to roads, water source and drainage. Although some states intend to give a full range of infrastructure services to the preferred private or public sector developers, others plan to provide only pooling stations to facilitate internal evacuation.
With about 331 GW of installed capacity, India’s power system is one of the largest in the world. Yet, the per capita electricity utilization is less than one-third of the global average. Around 300 million people are not linked to the countrywide electrical grid, the statement said, adding that with a rapidly growing economy the need for reliable power is only going to grow.
The $75 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5-time grace period, and a maturity of 19 years. The $23 million loan from the Clean Technology Account (CTF) has a 10-years grace period, and a maturity of 40 years. The $2 million is an interest-free CTF offer.