Gujarat solar capacity just shy of 2.7 GW

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Confirmation of the rapid rise of Gujarati solar has come with the news the state now boasts 2.69 GW of solar capacity – 405 MW of it rooftop PV.

The figure has been published on the website of the Gujarat Energy Development Agency, which revealed 169 MW of ground mounted generation capacity and 78.4 MW of grid connected rooftop solar was added from April to October.

The latest figures illustrate startling progress from the 170 kW of rooftop PV that was all the solar capacity recorded in the state in 2008-09.

Gujarat saw strong solar figures in September, when 25 MW of ground-mounted capacity and 5.3 MW of rooftop PV came online, before dipping last month to just 303 kW of new ground mounted installations and 2,464 kW of rooftops. May was the most productive month for new ground-mounted solar capacity in the current fiscal year, with 52.82 MW coming online. New rooftop arrays topped out in April, when 19.425 MW of generation capacity was added.

Rooftop lags

Diving into the figures for the last two fiscal years shows capacity from new larger installations more than doubling between 2017-18 (264 MW of new projects) and the last full year (620 MW). Over the same period, rooftop capacity additions showed much slower growth, from 117 MW in 2017-18 to 172 MW last year.

Gujarat chief secretary JN Singh said this week the state is aiming for 30 GW of renewables capacity by 2022. Starting from a base of 2.7 GW of solar and 7.2 GW of wind, that marks a 6 GW raising of the stakes since January, when the state announced an intent to invest Rs1 lakh crore over three years to add 10 GW of solar and 5 GW of wind generation.

The raised ambition may factor in the announcement made last month by Anand Kumar, secretary of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, whose plans for 55 GW of renewables to be deployed along the Pakistani border include 30 GW in Gujarat.