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Solar projects likely to be launched by PM

According to reports, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to inaugurate two 50 megawatt solar projects at Phalodi in Jodhpur district by the end of this week.

A detailed itinerary of his visit is yet to come but after his approval the state as well as district administration has begun preparations.

The PM’s confirmation to the visit is a testimony to the silent yet successful revolution to tap non-conventional sources of energy in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer districts.

Pokhran belt in Jaisalmer and Phalodi belt in Jodhpur, over the past few years, have witnessed a surge in the number of solar and wind projects with big-ticket firms competing to set up plants.

So far, over three dozen solar projects of 1000MW have been set up in these two districts alone while projects of over 5000MW still in pipeline. High-profile industrial families are stakeholders in some of these plants. Wind mills of a total capacity of 2000 MW too have been installed in the region even as proposals for another 2500MW are to be cleared. The pace at which these plants are being set up in the region may make it possible for an energy-deficient state to meet its power demands in a few years.

Central government’s liberal policy to promote non-conventional ways for power generation has helped the movement flourish in the desert state. The PM’s visit is being read as government’s aim to promote such initiatives in the region.

Besides first-timers, several established industrial houses have shown keen interest to start solar and wind projects in region.

As per some official records, the government has received proposals from over 150 companies for solar plants with a total capacity of around 6000MW. Sources confirmed that Rajasthan Sun Technique Private Limited, a subsidiary of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Power, has started power generation from its 100MW solar plant at Doodhsar village in Pokhran. The work on setting up another 40MW plant is also in progress.

Besides these, work has begun on seven projects of 5MW each at Askandra, three projects of 5MW each at Nokh and Pokhran. These are set to be completed by May 9, 2013.

According to sources, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal’s firms too have applied for two projects of 50MW each at Ishanion ki basti in the Sam area of Jaisalmer.

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