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Tamil Nadu to soon come out with tenders for 50 MW of solar projects

According to reports, the Tamil Nadu Government will soon come out with tenders calling for bids for solar power projects for a total capacity of 50 MW, Mr Sudeep Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency, said today.

Speaking at a conference on energy, organised here by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Mr Jain said that the 50-MW capacity would be split between solar photo voltaic and solar thermal, but the ratio of the mix is yet to be decided. Business Line learns that it is likely to be 30 MW of PV and 20 MW of solar thermal.

We want to promote both technologies, Mr Jain told journalists later, on the sidelines of the event. He said that the details of the tender were being worked out.

Answering a question, he said that the Tamil Nadu Government would create a solar park (just as in Gujarat), and the park is likely to be somewhere “in the southern districts.”

The method of award of projects would be like under the National Solar Mission, he said.

Under the photovoltaic part of the programme, only when the tenders are out will the industry know whether the State Government intends to promote one or a few large-sized projects, or several small ones.

Though the country’s first grid-connected solar plant came in Tamil Nadu – a 5-MW plant of Moser Baer at Sivagangai – the State today has just 7 MW of solar power.

However, in the recently concluded Batch II round of bidding under the National Solar Mission, Sujana Towers, won a 10-MW projects. The company intends to put it up in Tamil Nadu.

Mr Jain said that alongside the 50-MW programme, the State Government would promote hybrids of solar and wind in colleges. Very soon, the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency would start off a campaign to have such hybrid systems installed in 1,000-odd colleges in Tamil Nadu.

For not-for-profit, education institutions, there is a grant of Rs 1.5 lakh a Kw of installed capacity, which covers about 60 per cent of the capital costs.

Installation of such systems in the State would create an additional 30 MW of solar capacity in the State. Mr Jain observed that apart from enabling the colleges to go green, the systems would also help students get a feel of green energy first hand.

One comment

  1. It is not correct to say that the country’s first grid-connected solar plant came in Tamil Nadu. The first MW size plant (1.2 MW) was commissioned near Asansol in West Bengal in 2009. This was followed by two 3 MW projects in Karnataka, a 2 MW plant in Punjab, and a 1 MW plant in Maharashtra. The Sivaganga project was commissioned only in December 2010.
    For the record, the very first grid-connected PV power system in India was a 5 kW system installed on the roof top of the Institution of Engineers building in 1989. The system was installed by the Engineering Staff College of India under a project sponsored by the Dept. of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (now known as the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy).

    –Dr.E.V.R.Sastry, former Adviser, MNRE

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