India sees installation of 40 MW solar PV plant

Sarosh Bana

THE ADANI Group, one of the fastest growing business houses in India, has commissioned a 40 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Gujarat, India.

The Adani Group, headquartered in Gujarat's capital, Ahmedabad, commissioned the plant in the state's arid Kutch district.

The solar power facility marks its maiden venture into the renewable energy sector for the private thermal power producer. Going forward, it plans to expand the capacity of the plant to 100 MW.

At a recent event in Mumbai to unveil the group's new corporate image, Adani Group Chairman, Gautam Adani (pictured), said: “We are pleased to dedicate to the nation its largest solar plant, this venture and our use of supercritical technology in all our thermal power plants being a testimony of our commitment towards the environment.”

The solar plant consists of more than 400,000 solar PV modules mounted on 21,600 structures, which are erected on 130,000 foundations. Rajesh Adani, Gautam Adani's brother and Managing Director of subsidiary Adani Power, says that the power generated from the solar plant will be exported through a 66 kV cable to a substation in Netra, located 20 km from the project site. The project qualifies for incentives under the 2009 Gujarat Solar Power policy.

So far, the policy has seen the signing of 961.5 MW of power purchase agreements (PPAs) by 87 national and international developers. The incentives provided include a purchase price of Rs15/kWh for electricity from solar PV for the first 13 years of a project, and of Rs5 in the thirteenth year. The purchase price of electricity from solar thermal has been provided as Rs11 and Rs4 per kWh. There is a 10% renewable power purchase obligation.

Gujarat has been at the forefront of renewable energy development in India with the Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) having laid the foundation for Asia's first Solar Park, which represents an investment of Rs7,500 crore. The Solar Park is being established on 2000 hectares of arid land in the Charanka village in the Patan district, which borders with Pakistan. Plots have been allocated to 16 private investors to generate 176 MW of solar power. The cost of the project is estimated to Rs1,287 crore.

The Gujarat Government also plans to set up solar power manufacturing, assembling, and research and development facilities. In addition, a training institute will train locals, creating job opportunities.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets