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Gujarat to host Asia’s largest solar energy park in two years

 Tte Indian state of Gujarat that has been in the forefront of Solar energy development has released a state specific solar policy.Gujarat government has set the ambitious target of installing 1,000 Mw solar power capacity by the end of 2012 and 3,000 Mw in next five years. In this regard, the state has already signed PPAs for about 934MW.

According to reports, Gujarat would house the largest solar energy park in Asia in two years, with a power production capacity of 500 Mw.

This would be set up with an investment of around Rs 8,000 crore flowing from companies such as GMR and Lanco, which have been assigned generation capacities under the Gujarat Solar Mission.

Gujarat had announced a solar power policy in January 2009, with a target of installing 1,000 Mw capacity by 2012 and 3,000 Mw by 2014. The state has already signed power purchase agreements for 934 Mw.

“We would have around 100 Mw solar power capacity commissioned by the end of this year, as part of the 500 Mw solar park project. Overall, we have allotted 274 Mw capacity to companies. Around Rs 15 crore would go into setting up every Mw of power,” D J Pandian, principal secretary (energy) in the state government told Business Standard.

The park, on the lines of an industrial estate, is being developed by Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd (GCPL), as the sectoral nodal agency, on around 2,000 hectares of wasteland bordering the Rann of Kutch, in Patan district. When commissioned, the project would provide 800 million units of power.

In the first phase, 15 solar power generation companies would produce 176 Mw and Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation would set up a power pooling station. The overall project cost in phase-I would be Rs 1,287 crore. This would include Rs 351 towards the cost of land and power infrastructure and Rs 624 crore for evacuation facilitie.

The Planning Commission has already approved a one-time additional central assistance of Rs 210 crore for rthe development of the solar park. The Asian Development Bank has approved a soft loan of $ 100 million for the project. This includes development of a ‘smart grid’ for evacuation of power.

Pandian said the state government had already signed an agreement with the Clinton Climate Initiative, which would be the technical consultant.

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