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Auto parts makers to join hands, set up solar farm near Madurai

According to reports, six auto component makers in Chennai are gearing up to set up a joint solar farm near Madurai, Tamil Nadu. It will be executed by Mahindra EPC (engineering, procurement and contract).

MM Forgings, Rane Group, Super Auto Forge, Natesan Industries, IM Gears and Swelect have formed a consortium for setting up this common solar facility, which will have an initial installed capacity of 10 MW (can go up to 40 MW). The facility entails an investment of around Rs 80 crore.

Though the power shutdown in Tamil Nadu has reduced (from two hours earlier to one hour a day in Chennai; and from eight hours to a couple of hours outside Chennai), thanks to wind power, power shortage is still plaguing the State; companies need to be self-sufficient and power-independent, says S. Muralishankar, Director (Technical), Super Auto Forge. “Nobody really knows when power from the Kudankulam nuclear reactor will actually reach us.”

Earlier, the consortium had looked at Sivaganga and Tuticorin for the farm.

Each company in the consortium will individually own specific assets, depending on its energy requirement. For instance, MM Forgings is looking at harnessing 2 MW, while Super Auto is looking at 1 MW. The consortium is eager to get more companies on board.

The solar plant is expected to start operations by the end of this financial year.

The consortium has held a couple of meetings with the Tamil Nadu Government. It is seeking clarity on wheeling charges (to transport power over transmission lines) and floor price (in case of third-party selling, after self-consumption).

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