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Gujarat to have 300 MW of solar power by December

According to reports, even as Gujarat looks to become solar capital of the country, more than 50 per cent of the power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed for over 900 Mw are likely to miss the commissioning deadline of December 31, 2011. Declining any extension of deadline for developers, DJ Pandian, energy secretary, Government of Gujarat said that only 300 Mw of solar power projects may commission before the year ends.

Pandian informed that not all the companies that have signed the power purchase agreements (PPA) are likely to meet the set deadline of the December 31, 2011 to commission their projects.

“Currently, about 200 Mw of solar capacities are under implementation at the solar park near Patan, of which about 150 Mw will be commissioned by December-end. Additional 200 Mw of capacities to come up in other parts of the state by the deadline ends. So by January 2012, we will be able to have more than 300 Mw of capacities in solar power,” he said. However, he denied any possibility of an extension in the deadline set for the developers to commission the power projects.Some of the developers have even filed petitions with the state power regulator, Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) asking extension of the deadline. According to industry players about eight companies including Moserbaer, Kiran Energy have approached the regulator so far.

As per the terms of PPAs, if a developer fails to commission the project by the set deadline, it is liable to pay a penalty of ‘ 10,000 per day per Mw to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL), with which the PPAs have been signed.

“In solar power generation, Gujarat already has installed capacity of 150 Mw and this figure is expected to go up to 300 MW by January, 2012. Gradually, by August it should be about 500 Mw and nearly 700 Mw by September, 2012,” said Pandian. Gujarat was the first state to develop a solar policy in 2009, even before the central government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. “These projects are not part of the National Solar Mission,” Pandian informed.

About 84 solar projects are to be developed under the state policy in various parts of Gujarat, of which 22 are to be developed in the solar park at Charanaka village in Patan district. The park is being developed by Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd (GCPL), a state nodal agency. Meanwhile, Pandian also expressed hope for a decline in the solar power rates. “In the past, Gujarat Government has purchased solar power at the rate of ‘ 15 per unit and at present, the purchase price is around ‘10.27 per unit, but the price would come down to about ‘ 7 to 8 in the days to come,” he said.

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