Solar power becomes more competitive, investments rise in India, US

24 Aug, 2015 (LBO) – Solar power has become competitively priced in electricity markets and large investments are on the rise.

India’s Madhya Pradesh announced on Sunday plans to host the world’s largest solar power station with a capacity of 750 megawatts.

“Global tenders for commissioning the solar power station in an area over 1,500 hectares at Bandwar region, will be invited shortly,” the state’s Energy Minister Rajendra Shukla told PTI. The plant aims to start generating solar energy by March 2017.

Nearby, the Welspun Solar project in Neemuch district, Madhya Pradesh became operational in February 2014 and has output of 151 megawatts. It was constructed at a cost of 182 million dollars on 750 acres of land.

Pecos County in Texas, US will see one billion dollars in investments going into solar-energy farms. This is despite Texas not offering special state subsidies for solar farms, although it has new transmission lines and plenty of sun.

The project by OCI Solar Power LLC, for instance, will be the size of 900 football fields. Around 10,000 megawatts of solar-generating capacity could be installed by 2029 in Texas, industry officials said.

Texas currently has only 193 megawatts of solar arrays, enough to power about 40,000 homes. But with the cost of large scale solar projects plummeting, investments are on the rise.

The Ivanpah facility in California’s Mojave Desert is currently the largest solar power plant with a capacity of 392 megawatts.