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Adani Group builds world's largest renewable energy park in Gujarat: All you need to know about it

The outer flange of the energy park is just one km from the international border with Pakistan. Adani group's renewable energy plans are the most ambitious by any corporate in the country which is targeting to generate 500 GW of electricity from non-fossil sources by 2030.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Ahmedabad Updated on: April 11, 2024 17:18 IST
World largest renewable energy park now in India, Gujarat's Khavda region, Adani Green
Image Source : ADANI GREEN ENERGY Adani Green Energy Ltd will invest about Rs 1.5 lakh crore to generate 30 megawatts of clean electricity at Khavda.

In a remote area bordering Pakistan, multi-billionaire Gautam Adani's group has built the world's largest renewable energy park in Gujarat's Khavda region, as it has a massive 45 GW capacity to generate electricity largely from solar energy. This area, initially devoid of any infrastructure save for a portable toilet and a makeshift office in a container, caught the attention of Gautam Adani, then the second wealthiest person globally, in December 2022. Despite lacking basic amenities like a pincode and being situated amidst vast barren land, Adani recognized its potential.

Initially, the land was barren, with little vegetation due to its highly saline soil and no human settlement nearby. However, boasting the second-best solar radiation in the country after Ladakh and wind speeds five times that of the plains, it presented an ideal location for a renewable energy park. A mere 18-kilometer drive from the airstrip leads to the Khavda renewable energy park, spanning 538 square kilometres, approximately five times the size of Paris.

Adani's first impression of this place

Adani's first impression upon landing at Khavda was one of incredulity -- could anyone even find a mosquito in such desolate surroundings, he quipped. Nonetheless, his group proceeded to transform the landscape. Solar panels were installed to convert sunlight into electricity, and windmills erected to harness wind speeds of up to 8 meters per second. Additionally, the group constructed worker colonies and established desalination plants to render saline groundwater, pumped from depths of 700 meters, drinkable. Furthermore, they provided essential services like mobile phone repair shops, thus turning what was once a barren wasteland into a thriving hub of renewable energy production and sustainable living.

Adani Green Energy Ltd, India's largest renewable energy company, will invest about Rs 1.5 lakh crore to generate 30 megawatts of clean electricity at Khavda in Gujarat's Kutch, its Managing Director Vneet Jaain said. "We have just now commissioned 2,000 MW (2 GW) of capacity at Khavda and plan to add 4 GW in the current fiscal (financial year ending March 2025) and 5 GW every year thereafter," he said.

The airstrip is used to ferry group executives from Mundra or Ahmedabad a few times a week. The air traffic controller or ATC at Bhuj, some 160-km away, is the last guide post for airplanes going to Khavda. But its reach is only till 'Tent City' and pilots are virtually on their own for the last leg of 80-km or so including landing. "We use visual aids and airplanes' navigation systems to land. When taking off, we convey to Bhuj about the plans over the phone," a pilot flying the Adani Group-owned plane said.

Energy park nearby to IB with Pakistan

The outer flange of the energy park is just one km from the international border with Pakistan. The one-km buffer is manned by BSF. Executives said the airstrip was built in just 35 days in an area where even tractors had to be modified so they could operate in land that doesn't easily absorb water. The area has its own set of challenges - heavy dust storms during March to June, no communication and transport infrastructure, nearest habitable area being 80-km away, water not seeping under soil during the rainy season, even groundwater being saline and it being a restricted zone.

Executives said while some workers from Khavda village, accommodations are being built to house 8,000 workers. Adani group's renewable energy plans are the most ambitious by any corporate in the country which is targeting to generate 500 GW of electricity from non-fossil sources by 2030, as part of a broader plan of achieving net-zero emissions by 2070.

Power generation at Khavda region  

Khavda at its peak will generate 81 billion units that can power entire nations such as Belgium, Chile and Switzerland, they said. Jaain said the 30 GW planned at Khavda would comprise 26 GW of solar and 4 GW of wind capacity. AGEL's existing operational portfolio comprises 7,393 MW solar, 1,401 MW wind and 2,140 MW wind-solar hybrid capacity.

In the Khavda region, where solar irradiation reaches an impressive 2,060 kWh/m2 and wind resources are among India's finest, the frequent occurrence of sandstorms necessitates regular cleaning of solar panels, sometimes multiple times a day. To address this challenge, executives have revealed plans to implement waterless robotic module cleaning systems across the entire project site. It's worth noting that the Khavda land is government-owned, leased to the Adani Group for a period of 40 years.

How Adani Green built it in 2 years? 

Over the past five years, Adani Green undertook an extensive array of studies and assessments before commencing development at the site. These included geotechnical investigations, seismic studies, and resource assessments, alongside environmental and social impact assessments and detailed feasibility studies.

Construction began in 2022, marking the start of a comprehensive infrastructure development initiative. This encompassed the construction of 100 kilometres of roads, 50 kilometres of drainage systems, and the establishment of desalination plants and three reverse osmosis (RO) plants, boasting a combined capacity of 70 cubic meters per hour to cater to the drinking water needs of project staff. Additionally, optical fiber cables were laid across 180 kilometres for enhanced connectivity, and concrete batching plants were set up as part of the project's infrastructure.

(With PTI inputs)

ALSO READ: Adani Green Energy Ltd achieves milestone: Surpasses 10,000 MW renewable energy capacity

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