Kutch district is going to have India's largest renewable energy generation park which is expected to be fully operational in the next five years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Hybrid Renewable Energy Park near Vighakot village. The park, which will reportedly be spread across 72,600 hectares, will increase Gujarat's renewable energy contribution by 30,000 MW. The hybrid wind and solar park is yet another step in India's efforts to combat the climate crisis.
In late November this year, speaking at the 8th Convocation of the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Petroleum University in Gandhinagar, PM Modi pledged to achieve a renewable energy generation target of 450GW by 2030, and 175GW by 2022. The Kutch renewable energy park is expected to have two zones – a 49,000-hectare hybrid zone that will house wind and solar power plants, and an additional wind park zone taking up 23,000 hectares.
Adani Green Energy Ltd has been allocated the lion's share at 19,000 hectares in the hybrid park zone, with Sarjan Realities Ltd allocated 9,500 hectares, NTPC Ltd allocated 9,500 hectares, Gujarat Industries Ltd allocated 4,750 hectares and Gujarat State Electricity Corporation allocated the remaining 6,650 hectares. As for the wind energy park, the entire 23,000 hectares has been allocated to the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).
The latest initiative is a further manifestation of Gujarat's commitment to transition from a coal-based economy into a renewables-centred one. Since 1979, the state has seen an influx of investors from the power industry, the majority of whom have been coal-based. From Tata Power's 4000MW thermal power plant to Adani's 3,300MW Supercritical Mundra Power Project, Kutch slowly transformed into a critical power generation district in Gujarat.
According to officials from the Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA), Gujarat has managed to ramp up its installed capacity in renewable energy by 450MW in the current fiscal year despite the COVID-19 outbreak. This has, reportedly, taken its total installed capacity of renewable energy from 10,730MW to 11,180MW.