The Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, today said the State is committed to establish 100 megawatt of solar power in the next six months.
Inaugurating the first phase of 5 MW of the total 10 MW project of Azure Power India Pvt Ltd, an independent power producer (IPP) which has invested Rs 170 crore at village Khadoda in Sabarkantha district of north Gujarat, he said this would potentially create one lakh jobs as well. With the Azure project, Gujarat is now producing a total of 11 MW of solar power.
He said with the State's initiatives for green energy, Gujarat now contributes 50 per cent to the total income generated through sale of carbon credits in India.
Hailing Gujarat for its initiatives in the solar energy space, Ms Anita George, Director-Infrastructure, International Finance Corporation (IFC), said Gujarat is on its way to become world capital of solar energy. IFC is mulling over an investment of Rs 450 crore in Gujarat to create 100 MW capacity of solar power generation, she added.
When Azure Power approached IFC for funding projects, most of the committee members were not sure since it was a new company with big dreams.
But now, it has commissioned its second solar power plant in India, which is the largest one and remarkable, Ms George said.
Mr H.S. Wadhwa, Chairman, Azure Power, said the company was incorporated just two years ago, but it is slated to become the number one in solar energy segment in days to come. It had inked an MoU with the State during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2009 for the solar power plant. The Azure plant, set up on 60 acres in Khadoda, is one of the largest utility-scale solar power plants in the country. Today, the plant was connected to the Gujarat State Electricity Board grid, and will benefit over one lakh people living in Gujarat's 185 villages and reduce carbon emissions of up to 15,000 tonnes per annum. So far, Azure Power has invested Rs 300 crore in solar energy development in the country.
In addition to Gujarat, Azure Power has inked agreements with State governments of Punjab and Rajasthan. Ongoing talks with other State governments will take its total generating capacity to a combined production of 100 MW solar power by 2014 with cumulative investment of Rs 1,500 crore.