Khavda Solar Park (Gujarat Hybrid Renewable Energy Park): Boosting India’s Solar Landscape

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Khavda Solar Park

Khavda Solar Park (Gujarat Hybrid Renewable Energy Park): Boosting India’s Solar Landscape

Imagine a vast sunny landscape filled with millions of solar panels glistening in the desert sunshine. This isn’t a futuristic vision; it’s the very real Khavda Solar Park. Also known as the Gujarat Hybrid Renewable Energy Park, the project costs approximately 1.5 lakh crore and is of a staggering size similar to the city of Bangalore!

This is going to be the largest renewable energy park in the world, with a planned capacity of 30 GW.

The Hybrid park will offset approximately 58 million tonnes of CO2 per year. It also aims to provide clean energy to around 16 million homes, which is nearly comparable to powering entire countries like Poland, Belgium and Canada.

One of the most innovative aspects of the Khavda Solar Park is its marriage of solar and wind power. Solar power generation peaks during the day, while wind power can be harnessed all the time and in different weather conditions. Below is a breakdown:

1. Hybrid Wind-Solar Power Zone:

Capacity: 26 GW.

Total Land: 49,600 hectares.

Developers 

Allocated Land

Overall Permitted Capacity

Adani Green Energy (AGEL)

19,000 hectares

9.5 GW 

Sarjan Realities

9,500 hectares

4.75 GW

NTPC

9,500 hectares

4.75 GW

Gujarat Industries Power Company (GIPCL)

4,750 hectares

2.37 GW

Gujarat State Electricity Corporation

6,650 hectares

3.32 GW

khavada solar park capacity

2. Wind Power Zone:

Capacity: 4,000 MW.

Total Land: 23,000 hectares.

Developers:

Solar Energy Corporation of India will invite competitive bidding.

Management: 

The Power Grid Corporation of India will manage the electric power transmission.

Watch the YouTube video on Khavda Solar Park:

Video Source: IndiaTV

Khavda Solar Park Location Overview

The Khavda Solar Park is built near Vighakot village in the Kutch district, strategically placed approximately 10 kilometres from the India-Pakistan border.

Khavda Solar Park location is strategically chosen to maximise its potential. The positioning offers several benefits:

    • Kutch boasts an arid landscape with exceptional sunshine. The region receives an impressive 2,060 kWh/m2 of solar irradiation annually (Business Standard report), perfect for maximising solar energy production.
    • Khavda Solar Park is spread across 726 square kilometres. Over one lakh hectares (100,000 hectares) of this land is ideal for harnessing both solar and wind power due to favourable weather conditions.
    • The park has a proximity to existing power transmission grids. This facilitates easier integration of the generated clean energy into the national grid for household use.
    • The park is located near the Rann of Kutch, a large salt marsh that changes with the seasons, making the land unsuitable for other uses. Careful planning has been done to ensure the park fits well with this unique environment. 
    • Being away from densely populated areas also minimises potential land-use conflicts with agriculture or residential development.
  • Kutch has a population density of 45,674 km2 (Census 2011). The park being further away from the relative population helps maintain low levels of light pollution. This allows for optimal solar panel performance, maximising energy generation.

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This detailed Khavda Solar Park map provides a comprehensive layout of the park’s vast infrastructure and planned installations.

Technologies and Innovations Being Utilised in the Khavda Renewable Energy Park

The Khavda Solar Park is at the forefront of technological innovation in the renewable energy sector. Several cutting-edge technologies are being employed for the first time in the country to enhance the efficiency of the park:

  • Waterless Robotic Cleaning Systems: Usually, 7000 to 20000 litres of water is needed per MW for operations and maintenance. Traditional solar panel cleaning methods require .11 L/kWh, which can be a scarce resource in arid regions. To address this, AGEL is using robotic cleaning systems that do not require water in Khavda Solar Park. These robots can efficiently clean the solar panels, ensuring maximum efficiency without depleting local water resources.
  • Advanced Wind Turbines: There are currently 30 wind turbines currently installed at the Khavda project site by AGEL. Moreover, they have laid the foundation for 50 additional wind turbines has already been laid. Cengrs, AGEL’s geotechnical experts have conducted extensive soil investigation for over 100 of the 371 W2E-make wind turbines planned for the Khavda project. The project has plans to install 371 Wind Turbine Generators with a total wind capacity of 1.93 GW. These turbines are capable of generating power at lower wind speeds of 8 km/hr, making them ideal for the varied wind conditions in the Kutch region.
  • Energy Storage Systems: The park will incorporate advanced energy storage systems. These systems will store excess energy generated during peak production times and release it during periods of low production, ensuring a stable and reliable power supply. Hyderabad-based Jayram Industries secured a contract to install a 250 kW/1,200 kWh lithium-ion battery system to support existing solar projects. Additionally, the government plans to build a massive 14 gigawatt-hour grid-scale battery storage system at the park, further solidifying its position as a renewable energy powerhouse.
  • Bi-Facial Solar Modules: Around 40 lakh solar bi-facial solar panels are installed in the Khavda Renewable Energy Solar Park. These advanced solar panels can capture sunlight from both sides. By absorbing the reflected light from the ground with the backside of the panels, bi-facial modules can significantly boost electricity generation by up to 30%, especially in areas with high albedo like the Rann of Kutch. NTPC presently requires bi-facial PV modules with a minimum wattage of 540 Wp for a DC capacity of 1,515 MWp, which consists of four blocks of 378.75 MWp each.

Development Phases and Timeline of the Khavda Renewable Energy Park

The Khavda renewable project has made significant strides in its development with several key milestones. The following table provides a detailed breakdown of the project phases, key players and the current status:

Phase

Details

Timeline

Project Initiation and Approval

The government of Gujarat approves the Khavda Solar Park project.

September 2020

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone.

December 2020

Phase 1: Initial Development

NTPC REL secures 4.75 GW Solar Park project approval.

July 2021

GSECL RE Park Ph-I: 3.32 GW capacity approval.

August 2021

Land acquisition for NTPC REL: 23,750 acres completed.

May 2022

Initial groundwork, including the construction of a 30-km access road.

2021-2023

Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL) commissions the first 1 GW capacity.

March 2023

Phase 2: Scaling Up Capacity

GIPCL begins construction on an additional 600 MW capacity.

May 2023

GIPCL RE Park Ph-II: 1.2 GW capacity, contracts awarded for infrastructure.

July 2023

GIPCL RE Park Ph-III: 575 MW capacity, contracts awarded for infrastructure.

July 2023

AGEL secured funding for constructing an additional 2.1 GW capacity.

December 2023

GSECL RE Park is expected to achieve 1.6 GW of the total planned capacity.

2024

NHPC bags a 200 MW solar project

March 2024

Expected to achieve 50% of the total planned capacity.

December 2024

Future Developments

The NHPC project is expected to generate about 473 million units in the first year and a cumulative generation of 10,850 million units over 25 years.

2025-2026

The Khavda Solar Park capacity is projected to reach 30 GW at full completion.

December 2026

Key Milestones Achieved till March 2024:

Operationalising of the first 1 GW by AGEL, with the installation of 2.4 million photovoltaic modules.

Economic & Environmental Impact of Khavda Renewable Energy Park

The Khavda RE Park contributes substantially in multiple ways:

Strategic Significance:

  • Khavda Solar Park is a significant step towards India’s goal of achieving 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 (Ministry of Power Govt. of India).
  • The park’s 30 GW capacity will be crucial in enhancing India’s energy mix and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Alignment with National Initiatives:

  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) Solar Park Scheme targets the establishment of at least 50 solar parks generating 40,000 MW of solar power projects.
  • The Khavda Solar Park plays a crucial role here, fulfilling 75% of the target by itself.

Green Job Creation:

  • Over 15,200 green jobs are expected to be created during the development and operational phases of the Khavda Solar Park (According to Adani Green Energy).
  • This will boost local economies and provide new opportunities for employment and skills development in the renewable energy sector.

Environmental Benefits:

  • The park will generate approximately 81 billion units of clean electricity, significantly reducing the reliance on fossil fuels.
  • It will provide clean energy to around 16.1 million households, improving energy accessibility and reliability.

Carbon Emissions Reduction:

  • India aims to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2070.
  • The Khavda Solar Park will contribute significantly to these targets by offsetting approximately 30 million tonnes of CO2 annually.
  • The project is expected to avoid 58 million tons of CO2 emissions, substantially impacting environmental sustainability.
  • This reduction is equivalent to the carbon reduction of approximately 2,761 million trees, demonstrating the park’s positive impact on mitigating climate change.

Resource Conservation:

  • The avoided emissions are also equivalent to preventing the use of 60,300 tonnes of coal, highlighting the park’s role in conserving natural resources.
  • Additionally, it equates to removing 12.6 million cars from the roads, significantly reducing air pollution and improving public health.

Comparison with Other Major Renewable Energy Projects Globally

In the realm of renewable energy projects, the Khavda Solar Park in India stands out as a true giant. Its sheer scale and innovative hybrid approach to harnessing both solar and wind power set it apart from the competition.

The largest renewable energy park around the world:

  • Kubuqi Desert Solar Project, China: Planned Capacity of 16 GW
  • Bhadla Solar Park, India: Capacity of 2.24 GW
  • Huanghe Hydropower Hainan Solar Park, China: Capacity of 2.20 GW
  • Pavagada Solar Park, India: Capacity of 2.05 GW
biggest renewable energy park in the world

The closest contender might be China’s Kubuqi Desert Solar Project expected to supply 40 TWh/year. However, Kubuqi incorporates coal energy in its mix, a point of distinction from Khavda’s pure focus on renewables. While both Khavda and Kubuqi are still under construction, the 30 GW capacity of the Gujarat Hybrid RE Park will surpass all currently operational solar parks globally.

Conclusion

The Khavda Solar Park or Gujarat Hybrid Renewable Energy Park is a significant milestone in India’s renewable energy journey. From its strategic location to its innovative integration of solar and wind power, Khavda Solar Park is a marvel of modern engineering. The park’s potential to generate clean energy for millions of homes while creating a substantial number of green jobs positions it as a game-changer.

The impact of the Khavda Solar Project goes beyond India’s borders. By reducing reliance on fossil fuels and curbing carbon emissions, this colossal project sets a powerful example for the world. It’s a blueprint for a future powered by clean energy, paving the way for a more sustainable planet.

Frequently Asked Questions:

While most of the project is expected to be completed by 2026, Adani Green expects to finish it within the next five years.

In regions with frequent sandstorms, it’s important to find innovative cleaning solutions to maintain infrastructure and keep surfaces clear of sand and dust. Additionally, high ambient temperatures in these areas can potentially impact the efficiency of solar panels. Limited water resources further pose a challenge for cleaning and construction purposes in these environments.

The park will be connected to existing power transmission lines facilitated by the Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL). Upgrading existing infrastructure might be required to handle the massive amount of energy generated with plans of 14 GWh by the Indian government.

Environmental impact assessments are often conducted to minimise the disruption of wildlife habitats. One method used to prevent collisions with solar panels is the use of bird deterrents.

The project aims to create jobs in the construction, maintenance, and security sectors. It also has the potential to incorporate skill development programs in renewable energy, and it seeks to improve access to clean energy for nearby villages.

4 Comments

  • Nitin

    July 3, 2024 - 6:02 am

    Thanks for the informative blog

  • Satyam Negi

    July 7, 2024 - 5:24 pm

    It is a highly informative blog. I learned so much from it! India is already a world leader in solar power.

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