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GMR plans greater solar energy play- to invest Rs. 20 billion over next five years

According to reports, GMR Energy, the subsidiary of Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure, is looking to increase its presence in the solar energy sector in the next few years. It plans to increase its installed capacity to 200 Mw from the present 25 Mw, a top company executive said.

GMR is set to commission its first 25 Mw solar power project at Pathan in Gujarat for an investment of Rs 360 crore. “We are in the process of commissioning our first solar power project in December this year. We are also in the process of bidding for new projects to take our exposure to 200 Mw in the next few years for an investment of close to Rs 2,000 crore,” Raaj Kumar, chief executive officer, GMR Energy, told reporters here.

The company was looking at solar power project opportunities in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Haryana. However, the company has dropped the plans to enter the wind energy sector as the wind potential has diminished and the plant load factors are too low for such projects. “Good sites for wind energy have already been occupied by other players and not much is available for us,” he said.

The cost of commissioning a solar power project has drastically come down to Rs 12 per Mw in the country, he said due to the advancement in technology used for solar energy. The company is planning to bid for several upcoming solar power projects in many states, he added. Kumar said, GMR Infra, which has bought stakes in two coal assets in South Africa and Indonesia, is looking to sell coal to local buyers in Indonesia, while it would import the commodity from its South African mines for users in India.

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