Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated a 750-megawatt solar power plant in Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa district. The Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power Project, which is Asia’s largest till date, is being touted as a game-changer as it is said to reduce emission equivalent to 15 lakh tonne of carbon dioxide every year.

“Solar energy is going to be a major medium of energy needs not only today but in the 21st century,” said Modi as he inaugurated the plant through video conferencing. “Because solar energy is sure, pure and secure.” He added that India was among the top five nations in solar energy.

Modi dedicated the project to the nation. “Today, Rewa has really scripted history,” he said. “Rewa is identified with the name of mother Narmada and the white tiger. Now, the name of Asia’s largest solar power project has also been added.” The prime minister added that the solar plant will help in making Rewa a “big centre of energy in this decade”.

The Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited is a joint venture of state-owned Solar Energy Corporation of India and Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd. It comprises three solar generating units of 250 MW each located inside a solar park.

The project is the first renewable energy project to supply to an institutional customer outside the state. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will get 24% of energy from the project. The plant will supply its remaining 76% to the state discoms of Madhya Pradesh.

Apart from Rewa, work is underway on solar power plants in Shajapur, Neemuch and Chhatarpur, said the prime minister.

Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy RK Singh and oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan present during the virtual inauguration.

UN chief hails India as a ‘good example’

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday hailed India as a “good example” as the country has witnessed solar auctions even amid the Covid-19 pandemic, reported PTI.

“Coal has no place in Covid-19 recovery plans,” he said. “Nations must commit to net-zero emissions by 2050 and submit more ambitious national climate plans before COP-26 next year.”

Guterres said renewable energy is the only energy source expected to grow in 2020. “Solar auctions have seen popularity amidst the height of the pandemic. India serves as a good example. Renewables offer three times more jobs than the fossil fuel industry.”