Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated the 750 MW solar power project set at Rewa in Madhya Pradesh. In his speech, he said that solar energy is the pure form of energy and would help the country towards achieving “atmanirbharta” (self-reliance).
“It is important that if we want to become Atmanirbhar Bharat, then we would have to be ‘atmanirbhar’ in the field of electricity as well. When we speak of self-reliance and progress, the economy is a pivotal part of it. The whole world is in a conundrum that whether to focus on the environment or focus on the economy,” the Prime Minister said in his address, via video-conferencing.
PM Modi also asserted that Rewa’s 750 MW solar power project is the largest in Asia. Meanwhile, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and D K Shivakumar slammed Modi for his assertion.
Shivakumar wrote, “Union Power Minister must answer as to how the Central government can claim that the Rewa Solar Park (750 MW) opened today is Asia’s largest when clearly the Pavagada Park in Karnataka is much larger (2,000 MW) and was opened two years back!”
The unique thing about the 2000 MW Pavagada Mega Solar Park was that not a single acre of land was acquired from the farmers
All 13,000 acres have been leased from the farmers who are being given yearly rent.
Karnataka model of Renewable Energy was accepted as the best in India pic.twitter.com/ubIkjJDznT
— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) July 10, 2020
“Asatyagrahi”, said Gandhi on Twitter, tagging a tweet by the Prime Minister’s Office which quoted Modi as saying that Rewa has been identified with Narmada and white tigers, but now the name of Asia’s largest solar power project has also been added to it.
आज रीवा ने वाकई इतिहास रच दिया है।
रीवा की पहचान मां नर्मदा के नाम से और सफेद बाघ से रही है।
अब इसमें एशिया के सबसे बड़े सोलर पावर प्रोजेक्ट का नाम भी जुड़ गया है: PM @narendramodi dedicating Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power project to the Nation
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 10, 2020
Is the Reva solar plant really the largest in Asia or are the Congress leaders right in calling out Modi’s gaffe?
Well, an article published in April says its the fourth-largest in India. According to it, Bhadla Solar Park located in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district is the largest one in India, with a capacity of nearly 2,250 MW.
Shakti Sthala solar power project (2,050MW) in Tumakuru district, Karnataka and Ultra Mega Solar Park (1,000MW) in Orvakal, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh are the second and the third-largest plants as per NS Energy.
Another article published in the Economic Times in 2019, said that China’s Yanchi Solar Park is the largest one in Asia. ET had quoted PV Magazine.
Interestingly, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had in January 2020 said that Karnataka’s Pavagada Park is the world’s largest solar park. “India Takes Lead in Clean Energy: World’s largest solar park at Pavagada in Karnataka is now operational. Generating 2050 MW of clean energy, the park is located on land leased from farmers, utilising the drought-hit area & adding to farmers’ income,” he wrote citing an article.
India Takes Lead in Clean Energy: World’s largest solar park at Pavagada in Karnataka is now operational.
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) January 19, 2020