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ADB to fund RPower’s solar project in Rajasthan

According to reports, to help boost private investment in renewable energy, multilateral lending agency ADB has announced $103-million loan to Reliance Power for setting up a 100-MW solar plant in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan.

“I would like to inform you that ADB has just agreed to extend financing for Reliance Power’s 100-MW concentrated solar thermal plant, which will be one of the largest solar power generation facilities in India and Asia as well,” ADB Director-General (Regional and Sustainable Development Department), Mr S. Chander, said here today.

He was addressing the inaugural session of the fourth Asia Solar Energy Forum, which is being attended by several public and private sector experts, investors and companies.

The plant, which is expected to be completed in May 2013, will cost around $415 million.

Besides ADB, other bilateral agencies and local lenders will provide funds for the project. It will be the first solar energy plant built by Reliance Power, which is a listed company of the Reliance ADA Group.

Under the Government’s ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission that started in January 2010, the country aims to have 2,000 MW of installed solar power generation capacity by 2013, which would be further increased to 10,000 MW by 2017 and to 20,000 MW by 2022.

Reliance Power was one of the successful bidders to develop 470 MW of concentrated solar power capacity under the first phase of the NSM.

The plant will be located near the village of Dhursar in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, which is about 180 km from Jodhpur. The site has one of the highest levels of direct sunlight in the country.

The plant is estimated to avoid more than 2.5 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, compared to the energy produced by a conventional fossil fuel plant.

The project will share a transmission line with Reliance Power’s existing 40-MW Dahanu solar power plant which is also partly financed by the ADB.

“This 100-megawatt plant will help meet growing energy demand in India in a way that avoids emission of harmful greenhouse gases,” said Mr Michael Barrow, Director, ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.

He further said: “We hope that the success of this project will spur others to invest in the solar energy sector, which has massive potential in India.”

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