Suzlon Group, the world’s fifth largest wind turbine maker, on Saturday, expressed intent to develop clean energy projects with a combined capacity of 3,000 megawatt (MW) in Gujarat over the next five years, involving investments to the tune of Rs 24,000 crore, expected to create 6,000 direct and 75,000 indirect jobs in the state.
The company is looking at the proposed SME manufacturing clusters in sectors like textiles, food processing and agro industries, automobile parts, defence production and cold storage where Suzlon would encourage these industries to invest to own captive wind power plants, with a minimum capacity of 2.1 MW, for assured supply of affordable and clean energy, Tulsi R Tanti, Chairman, said here.
“We will function like housing societies, develop infrastructure, and supply wind power turbines to industrial units”, he added.
For this offshore expansion, the company also plans to put up a new turbine manufacturing facility in Kutch.
Tanti said the cost of wind power production in India is higher than in China but it can be brought down to up to just 50 paise per unit with long-term benefits. “In Coimbatore, we have done so for 400 textile units. We want to do it now in Gujarat and in other states.”
Currently, Suzlon has an installed capacity of wind power production at 25,000 MW globally, including 8,250 MW in India where it has a 40% market share in this segment. It is producing 1,800 MW in Kutch district of Gujarat, which is 20% of its pan-India capacity, achieved at an investment of Rs 14,000 crore.
The addition of 3,000 MW of fresh energy projects will be mainly along the 200-km-long coastal belt in the Kutch-Saurashtra region. The first pilot project of 500 MW will come up in Kutch in the next three to five years.
“Some of the projects, out of the 3,000 MW proposed, could also be of hybrid variety with solar power equipment installed next to wind turbines, forming part of the common grid.”
Tanti pointed out that India has a capacity of offshore wind energy production of one lakh MW, with Gujarat and Tamil Nadu being the best destinations. The Government of India aims to increase contribution of wind power from 20,000 MW now to 50,000 MW in the next five year, with Gujarat’s contribution pegged at 10,000 MW. Suzlon’s proposed addition of 3,000 MW is part of fulfilling this objective that could go a long way in “Make-in-India” campaign a success, he added.