According to reports, the desert state on Saturday achieved the glory of having the country’s biggest solar power generation plant. The 40MW plant has been set up at Dhoodsar village near Pokhran in Jaisalmer district and the plant started power generation from Saturday.
In a grand function organised at the village, Union new and renewable energy minster Farooq Abdullah, and state chief minister Ashok Gehlot inaugurated the photovoltaic plant capable of generating 40MW power. State energy minister Jitendra Singh, Reliance chairman and managing director Anil Ambani and public representatives were also present at the event.
The function began with the guests offering floral tribute to late Dhirubhai Ambani and lit the inaugural lamp. The plant owned by Reliance Energy was built at an estimated cost of Rs 400 crore on 140 hectares of land. The plant will generate 720 lakh units of power.
On the occasion, Abdullah said India would soon become a leader in solar energy in the world and the Union government is making all efforts towards achieving this goal.
He said a lot of work is going on in the country in the power generation sector especially in taking up multi-faceted efforts to provide solar energy which in turn would strengthen the Indian economy. “Rajasthan is ideal in regard to the solar energy and this state would provide electricity to the entire country by setting up a large number of solar plants,” Abdullah said.
The Union minister said the country has set target to produce 20,000 MW of solar energy by 2022. He hoped that Rajasthan alone would cross this target. He praised the solar policy of the state government and congratulated the chief minister for taking up the efforts to set up solar plants. Abdullah said India ranks fifth in regard to wind energy production in the world and the way the work is going on, “we would further move ahead”. He asked Anil Ambani to set up more projects in this direction.
Abdullah further said at present 90 per cent of power generation fund is spent on coal, petrol, diesel and other natural gas. In such situation, if solar and wind energy is used then every village a new dimension would be added to this sector. He requested Anil Ambani to name this solar energy plant after Dhirubhai Ambani.
Addressing the gathering chief minister Ashok Gehlot expressed gratitude to Anil Ambani for completing the project within two years and hoped that the Reliance group will invest more in Rajasthan. Stating that Rajasthan is number one in the entire country in regard to solar energy, Gehlot ssaid there is huge scope of expansion in this sector. He said efforts are being made to set up a solar energy park in western Rajasthan and to develop the state as a solar hub.
The chief minister said the state’s solar energy policy has been made incorporate more investments and provisions have been made for many relaxations to the investors. He said Rs 10,000 crore is being invested in this field and there is expectation of Rs 6,000 crore more.
State energy minister Jitendra Singh said along with conventional energy, a lot of work is going on in the state in the solar and wind energy sector. He said, “Chief minister Gehlot had earlier inaugurated a wind energy plant and today 19,00 MW wind energy is being produced in the state.”
He reiterated that Rajasthan is a leader in energy sector and the chief minister has made a provision of Rs 12,500 crore in this sector. A large number of grids is being set up for solar power in the state and by next month Suratgarh and Chabra plants will start functioning, Singh said, informing that the energy sector has been taken care of in the Five Year plan. He added that 16,500 investors have come forward to invest in solar energy in the state.
Relaince CMD Anil Ambani said it is historic moment for Rajasthan as the 40Mw solar plant in Dhoodsar village started generating power. “That we will be getting 40MW power every single day is a record in itself,” he said.
Praising the role of Abdullah and Gehlot, he said the plant was the result of their encouragement. Investment this sector has increased due to their efforts, Anil Ambani said. The Reliance CMD also praised the solar energy policy of the Rajasthan government and said that in two years he would set up a solar energy plant of 300MW on which Rs 6,000 crore would be spent.