The Indian cabinet has approved plans by state-run power producer NTPC to build 15GW of solar capacity, including 7GW of unsubsidised solar power.
The plan would be part of India's national solar mission and rolled out in three groups with all projects to be grid-connected.
The first 3GW would be bundled with coal power plants with the power given a fixed tariff. Another 5GW would be given a degree of support based on the experience with the first 3GW. The final 7GW will not receive any solar support at all.
Land for 1GW of the bundling scheme has already been identified in Andhra Pradesh. The remaining 2GW of capacity is available for other states to request. The government has estimated the cost of the bundling tranche alone at Rs18,000 crore (US$2.9 billion).
Some of the 15GW will be restricted by domestic content requirement on solar cells and modules but no further details on that provision were available.
At the recent RE-Invest summit in New Delhi, NTPC committed to a 10GW rollout of solar. It is unclear whether this latest announcement includes or is separate to that 10GW.
In separate news the Ministry of Urban Development said it plans to install 100MW of solar on the rooftops of government buildings during the next two years. The projects will be carried out in partnership with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).