Azure Power's solar plant to be opened tomorrow

Our bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on June 08, 2011 Published on June 08, 2011

The Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi .   -  P_V_SIVAKUMAR

The Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, will on Friday inaugurate phase-I of India's largest solar power plant at Khadoda in Sabarkantha district, where the 10-MW facility has been set up by Azure Power India Pvt Ltd.

Azure Power, which has already invested nearly Rs 300 crore in its various projects in India since 2007, is targeting a combined production of 100 MW in solar power with an investment of Rs 1,500 crore by 2014, said Mr H.S. Wadhwa, Chairman, here on Wednesday.

The company's 10-MW projects are now operational in Punjab and Gujarat and 5-MW projects are under construction in Rajasthan.

The company has invested Rs 170 crore on the Khadoda facility on a build-own-operate basis. It has been allotted land by the State Government at the 3,000-acre Solar Park being developed at Charanaka in Patan district for another power project. “We are awaiting capacity allocation to us,” he added.

The investment of $40 million (Rs 170 crore) had been led by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, an agency of the US Government that helps businesses in the country invest overseas and promotes economic development in new and emerging markets.

The photo-voltaic solar power plant is spread over 60 acres at Khadoda. It is the first megawatt-scale solar power project under the Gujarat State Solar Power Policy using non-recourse financing. The plant will meet the power requirements of nearly one lakh people in 150 villages.

Using 9,120 photo-voltaic solar modules, which help turn sunlight directly into electricity, this will replace carbon emission of around 15,000 tonnes, an equivalent of removing 15,000 cars from Indian roads, every year.

The State Government's power distribution company, Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd, had entered into a 25-year power purchase agreement with Azure Power for supply of 15 MW, India's largest. The solar power generated will be transmitted to a substation in the local community.

Gujarat, endowed with 300 days of clear sun, has 14.4 million acres of wasteland in high solar radiation level areas.

With its target of installing 1,000 MW of solar power capacity by 2012 and 3,000 MW by 2016, the State has already signed MoUs for more than 900 MW.

Published on June 08, 2011
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