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CLP May Invest in First Indian Solar Project by Next Year

CLP Group that started its India innings by acquiring a stake in the 655 MW gas powered Gujarat Paguthan Energy Corporation (GPEC) in Bharuch, Gujarat in 2002 has since expanded to bring into operation two 50.4MW wind projects in Gujarat and  Maharashtra.

CLP India is the largest foreign investor in the wind power sector in India and had around 639Mw of installed and under addition capacity.

In May last year, the company had set up a 99MW wind farm in Theni, Tamil Nadu with Vestas Wind Technology India Pvt Ltd, the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer.

According to reports, CLP Holdings Ltd., the biggest power supplier in Hong Kong and India’s largest owner of wind farms, may invest in its first solar project in India next year.

The Hong Kong-based company has begun collecting sun irradiation data at Indian wind farms to also evaluate the possibility of installing solar plants, Mahesh Makhija, director of renewables at CLP’s India unit, said today.

“By the end of this year, we should be in a comfortable position to pick our first sites and have an investable solar project,” Makhija said in an interview at his office in Mumbai.

Building solar plants alongside wind farms can be more efficient because the projects can share infrastructure, such as power lines and personnel, he said.

CLP didn’t bid for licenses in India’s first solar auction last December in part because the government limited the size of photovoltaic projects it awarded to 5 megawatts, Makhija said.

“Five megawatts can be a demonstration project at best,” he said. “There are no profits to be made there” though CLP may opt with a small-scale pilot before scaling up, he said.

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