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Kamuthi Solar Power Project, Tamil Nadu, India

Predominantly women protest to protect drinking water sources and ask for employment in exchange for the farmland lost to the Adani Group's 648MW power plant. The company so far failed to react the emerging injustices.


In India, pollution and the effects of climate change are making headlines. An answer to the problems is promised by large-scale solar power plants such as the 648 MW Kamuthi Solar Power Project (KSPP), one of the biggest projects in India, which has been viewed as the “start of an unprecedented Indian solar boom” [3]. In order to achieve the Paris pledge, India will need several hundreds of PV mega solar power plants [3]. India had already launched in 2010 its National Solar Mission under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with a target of 20GW by 2022. However, the industry increased faster than expected, and the target was later increased to 100 GW (by 2022) by the Narendra Modi government in the 2015 Union budget of India [4]. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Kamuthi Solar Power Project, Tamil Nadu, India
State or province:Tamil Nadu
Location of conflict:Kamuthi
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Large-scale solar plants
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The project, built by the company Adani Power, covers an area of 2,500 acres (1,012 hectares) and has a total capacity of 648 MW. The total construction cost was US 679 million, respectively the Indian equivalent of Rs 4,500 crore [1]. (1 crore in the Indian numbering system is equivalent to ten million (10,000,000) [12]).

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Project area:1,012
Level of Investment for the conflictive project679,000,000.00
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:10-100
Start of the conflict:2017
Company names or state enterprises:ABB (ABB) from Sweden
Adani Power Limited (APL) from India
Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Limited (TANTRASCO) from India - Building the sub-station
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Groundwater pollution or depletion, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Potential: Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:No reaction to protest
Proposal and development of alternatives:No alternative proposals are known.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:An official response by the Adani Group or the Indian government to the concerns by the local population could not be found. Consequently, as there is no information on undertakings to improve the situation it seems that the situation is the same as described in Status Quo.
Sources & Materials

[2] “India Builds World’s Largest Solar Power Plant, Covering 2,500 Acres | CleanTechnica,” (CleanTechnica, Steve Hanley, December 7th, 2016) [Accessed: 12-Nov-2019]
[click to view]

[3] “India Wants to Become a Solar Superpower, But its Plans Don’t Add Up,” (Energy Central, K Beckmann, Nov 25, 2016)
[click to view]

[4]“Scaling up of Grid connected Solar Power projects from 20,000 MW by the year 2021-22 to 1,00,000 MW by the year 2021-22 under Solar Mission,” (Ministry of New & Renewable Energy) (Accessed: 11-11-2019)
[click to view]

[5] “Massive Infrastructure Projects Are Failing at Unprecedented Rates” (National Geographic, Keith Schneider, November 20, 2017)
[click to view]

[6] “Adani unveils world’s largest solar plant in Tamil Nadu,” (Live Mint, Maulik Pathak, 21 Sep 2016 (Accessed: 12-Nov-2019)
[click to view]

[7] “ABB links 648 MW solar project at Kamuthi with national grid - The Economic Times,” (India Times, Jun 13, 2016) (Accessed: 12-Nov-2019)
[click to view]

[8] “Adani solar plant guzzles illegal fresh water in drought-hit Tamil Nadu” (The New Indian Express, R.K. Rajasekaran, 06th June 2017) (Accessed: 11-Nov-2019)
[click to view]

[9] “Regional parties should rule respective States: Seeman - The Hindu.” (The Hindu, October 13, 2015) (Accessed: 11-Nov-2019)
[click to view]

[11] “Adani protest tn ramanathapuram ” (Tamil Nadu News, Pooja, FEB 9, 2018) (Accessed: 11-Nov-2019)
[click to view]

[13] “Adani unveils world’s largest solar power plant in Tamil Nadu,” (Deccanchronicle, Sep 21, 2016) (Accessed: 12-Nov-2019)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[10] “(7) Kamuthi people protest against Adani Solar Power Plant | வேலை கொடுக்காத அதானி நிறுவனம் | Sun News - YouTube,” (Sun News, Feb 9, 2018) (Accessed: 11-Nov-2019)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:ICTA-UAB/2019 interns
Last update16/12/2019
Conflict ID:4834
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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