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IFC to support 5MW of solar rooftop projects each in five Gujarat cities

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is supporting the Indian state of Gujarat to replicate in five cities a rooftop solar project first completed in Gandhinagar, improving access to power and reducing air pollution from the burning of wood and fossil fuels.

The two pilot projects of 2.5 megawatt each demonstrated the viability of generating solar power through a grid-interactive system on rooftops, and will serve as a model for roll-out across the cities of Bhavnagar, Mehsana, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara. IFC is also developing a policy framework for the replication of rooftop solar concept in Gujarat based on the experience gained in Gandhinagar.

This program is the first of its kind in India and aims to be a benchmark for green energy generation at the household level. The two pilot projects will produce approximately nine million units of clean energy and help to avoid 6,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. The project will also help to mobilize private sector investment of approximately $12-14 million.

“We want to fully exploit the potential of solar power generation,” said D. Jagatheesa Pandian, Principal Secretary in the state Energy and Petrochemicals Department. “IFC’s support will help us implement the rooftop solar power generation project in other cities of Gujarat and make the state the preferred destination for solar projects in India.”

The project aims to help the government introduce public-private participation in generating a green energy source. The solar installations will convert sunlight into electricity and directly feed into the electrical grid. The Public Private Partnership and Sustainable Business Advisory team of IFC structured the project and advised the Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute and Gujarat Power Corporation Limited, the two state supported agencies for implementing solar power, on the global competitive bid process.

“Gujarat is pioneering the adoption and promotion of clean energy by installing rooftop solar plants in the state,” said Anita M. George, IFC Director for Infrastructure in Asia. “The project will provide economic opportunities to the local residents, whose rooftops will be used for the installation of solar panels.”

Successful implementation of the business model for the rooftop solar project in a leading state like Gujarat will encourage similar models to be adopted in India and elsewhere in the region.

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