According to reports, it is in the very early stages, but the thinking in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Corporation is for the newly set up Solar Energy Corporation to put up a 1,000-MW solar park in the country.
Confirming this to Business Line, Mr Tarun Kapur, Joint Secretary in the Ministry, said that developing such a park would be one of the Corporation’s activities.
Business Line has heard from industry sources that the MNRE is thinking in terms of mandating local content for projects that would be set up in the park, while those come up elsewhere would not have any such restrictions. Asked about this, Mr Kapur just said that various ideas were being discussed in the Ministry.
The Solar Energy Corporation is a not-for-profit, “Section 25” company, formed for the purpose of taking forward the objectives of the National Solar Mission, from the second phase onwards.
The recently concluded phase-I was handled by the public sector NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVN), which is also the buyer of the power produced by the ‘Phase-I solar plants’.
A question facing the policy makers is whether or not to mandate local manufacture.
Engendering local solar manufacturing industry is an objective of the Solar Mission. Mandating local content has cost implications that impact projects coming up; on the other hand, without any such mandating, developers would only import plants and no local industry would develop.