Gujarat to host Asia's largest solar energy park
Gujarat would house the largest solar energy park in Asia in two years, with a
power production capacity of 500 MW. This would be set up with an investment of
around Rs 8,000 crore flowing from companies such as GMR and Lanco, which have
been assigned generation capacities under the Gujarat Solar Mission.
Gujarat had announced a solar power policy in January 2009, with a target of
installing 1,000 MW capacity by 2012 and 3,000 MW by 2014. The state has already
signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 934 MW. The park, on the lines of an
industrial estate, is being developed by Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd. (GCPL),
as the sectoral nodal agency, on around 2,000 hectares of wasteland bordering
the Rann of Kutch, in Patan district.
When commissioned, the project would provide 800 million units of power. In
the first phase, 15 solar power generation companies would produce 176 MW and
Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation would set up a power pooling station.
The overall project cost in phase I would be Rs 1287 crore. This would include
Rs 351 towards the cost of land and power infrastructure and Rs 624 crore for
evacuation facilities. The Planning Commission has already approved a one-time
additional central assistance of Rs 210 crore for the development of the solar
park. The Asian Development Bank has approved a soft loan of USD 100 million for
the project. This includes development of a 'smart grid' for evacuation of