Anantapur is set to be a premier renewable energy producer by 2020 given the ongoing and proposed projects in the region. The Ultra Mega Solar Park at NP Kunta with planned capacity of 1,500 MW, of which 250 MW has been initially commissioned, will compete with the facility in California's Mojave desert, which has a capacity of 1,000 MW.
NTPC aims to build generation capacity of 128 GW by 2032 with more emphasis on renewable energy including 100 GW solar energy by 2022. As of May 31, 2016, the cumulative grid-connected solar power capacity is 7.5 GW. Solar projects in pipeline have already surpassed 22 GW with 13 GW under construction and 9 GW proposed.
Though, Gujarat and Rajasthan had the lead in developing solar energy projects, feasible climatic conditions along with availability of land drew investors to establish energy units in Rayalaseema. Gujarat has been a leader in solar power generation and contributes 2/3rd of the 900 MW of photovoltaic power in the country. Rayalaseema is said to be the most efficient area for the business.
Private generating companies are giving top priority to tap solar and wind energy in Anantapur, Kurnool and Kadapa areas. Axis Energy Group targets tapping both solar and wind energy; they plan to install 4000 MW wind power projects and 2500 MW solar power projects in Rayalaseema regi-on, most of it in Anantapur district.
The company plans to achieve these targets by 2020. Company sources said they have already installed 28 wind monitoring stations along with capacity to assess data using sophisticated methods for the past half decades. They ensure that the met masts used are equipped with new pyrometers to collect solar radiation from the monitoring stations.
In the wake of unavailability of government and forest land, the companies are depending on private agriculture lands in between Vajrakarur, Uravakonda, Kalayanadurg, Ramagiri, Penukonda and Roddam areas. “Entire reach was feasible for tapping of wind energy as the wind mass units had shown positive results”, Anantapur NEDCAP official Kodandarama Murthy said.
IT minister Palle Raghunath Reddy said that the largest solar power plant in the world is located in the Mojave Desert in California. It has at capacity of 1,000 MW, but NP Kunta Ultra Mega Solar Park would soon surpass Mojave Desert”. The state government will be a model for renewable energy generation with innumerable wind and solar power projects in all areas given conditions across the state.