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GMR Infra’s solar unit may come up in Tamil Nadu

The Indian state of Tamil Nadu one of the pioneers in renewable energy and the leader in Wind Energy with about 43% of the installed capacity in India has released a Solar Road map for the state in December last year.

Last month, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said that her government was proposing to bring out the “Vision Document 2025″ meeting the expectations of the industry leaders, she said.

“This document will contain clear-cut policies for promoting investments in infrastructure like power, ports, ship building. There will be special emphasis on renewable energy like solar power”, she said.

 Presenting the budget, the state Finance Minister, O Pannerselvam , said a number of new schemes have been launched and several development initiatives were taken up by the government and total cost of the schemes will be Rs 8,900 cr.

As part of the government’s commitment towards green energy, it is proposed to establish initially a 50 MW solar park in PPP mode through bidding process, the Finance Minister said.

According to reports, infrastructure major GMR Infrastructure Ltd is planning to set up solar power plants with a total capacity of 75 MW in Tamil Nadu, industry sources told Business Line.

The company is planning to increase this to 100 MW in the next few years, and Tamil Nadu is the potential state to house the new power plants, an industry source said.

GMR, which has identified potential sites near Dharmapuri to put up the power plants, is waiting for the Tamil Nadu government to come out with its solar policy to finalize plans on the investment, location of the plants etc.

A company official said, “It is very early days to decide the details and we are waiting for the policy.” He declined to divulge much information but indicated that while Gujarat is also a possible location, the company is looking primarily at Tamil Nadu.

GMR apart, several other solar power generators are keenly awaiting the Tamil Nadu government’s renewable energy policy, more so after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms J. Jayalalithaa’s announcement on establishing a 50 MW solar park in the state.

Solar players like SunEdison, Lanco Solar and Azure Power are amongst the players who would increase their presence in the solar space once the policy is released.

Mr Vineeth Vijayaraghavan, an industry expert who runs an online newsletter, said that a policy which includes both large and small projects will be welcomed by the industry.

“Trade-offs need to happen between price and size, so a small quota of allotment for small capacity power plants which would encourage small players, and the rest in bigger sizes to attract international players, will help bring down prices,” he said.

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