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Khosla Ventures funded Sunborne Energy mulls Rs 6 billion solar thermal plant in South India

According to reports, Sunborne Energy, a Haryana-based solar power producer backed by General Catalyst Partners and Khosla Ventures, is contemplating setting up a 50-Mw solar thermal power project in Andhra Pradesh for an investment in the range of Rs 500 crore and Rs 600 crore (including land cost).

The company has already acquired 200 acres in Andhra Pradesh and is now trying to work it out with the state government to set up the plant.

“We are keenly watching the policy framework developments in the state. As and when we get a nod from the Andhra Pradesh government, we will go for it. We are technology-agnostic and we want to go with a technology (photo voltaic, crystalline or thin film) which is reliable and bankable, and is closer to the lowest cost of energy (LCOE),” Gagan Vermani, executive director and chief operating officer, told Business Standard. Vermani said, they had seen Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka coming up with some sort of policies, besides the National Solar Mission. “In AP, we have to wait for the right (policy) environment,” he said. Sunborne, which had so far raised $25 million in a two-round funding from General Catalyst Partners, recently signed a power purchase agreement with the Gujarat government, for a 50-Mw solar thermal power plant and is expecting the project to be commissioned in the next couple of months. Also in the pipeline is a 5-Mw power project in Rajasthan under the MNRE scheme, to be completed by March 2012. “We are looking to expand aggressively and want to achieve a 20-Mw on-ground installed capacity by the end of this financial year and reach 200 Mw (only photo voltaic) in the next fiscal,” Vermani said, adding the company was targeting a grid-parity by 2014 in photo voltaic by 2014.

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