Shakti Sthala, hailed as the world's largest solar park by Karnataka government, was today inaugurated by CM Siddaramaiah in Pavagada taluk of Karnataka's Tumkur district.
The 2,000MW capacity plant is spread across an area of 13,000 acres, which was leased to the government by 2,300 local farmers at Rs 21,000 per acre per annum.
Currently, 600 MW of the total planned capacity is under operation. The remaining capacity is expected to be ready by the end of this year.
Once fully operational, the park will have the capacity to produce 2,000 MW of electricity — 453 MW more than the current world's largest solar park in China, the Tengger Desert Solar Park.
One of the unique features of the plant is the manner in which the land was arranged for the project. The land for the park was leased from the local community for 25 years, instead of the common practice of acquisition, thereby allowing the locals to retain the ownership of their land.
"Some people talk. We deliver. Some people call themselves Raitha Bandhu. We bring irrigation to parched fields, fill tanks, waive loans, do direct income transfer to farmers, give loans at 0% interest, build farm ponds, and do crop insurance. And we leave appreciation to people," the chief minister tweeted a day before the inauguration of the park.
A drought-prone area which was not being used for agriculture was selected as the site for the plant, which is expected to create 4,000 job opportunities for the local community.