India?s largest solar energy plant to be commissioned in Sabarkantha

The country’s largest solar power plant will be commissioned this month at Khadoda village in the tribal district of Sabarkantha in north Gujarat.

H S Wadhwa, the Chairman of Azure Power, which is setting up the plant jointly with other investors said the clean energy will provide light source to one lakh rural homes. The Khadoda solar power plant will be set up at a cost of Rs 170 crore under the Build-Own-Operate (BOO) mode.

Azure officials said the company chose Gujarat as the state is endowed with high solar radiation levels with 300 days of clear sun. Gujarat also has 14.40 million acres of uniquely positioned wasteland in areas of high solar radiation, they said. “Gujarat is investor friendly. We are getting wonderful support here. We are lucky to choose Gujarat,” said Wadhwa.

The Khadoda solar power plant is the result of an MOU signed between the Gujarat government and the company during the Vibrant Gujarat 2011 summit.

The plant will exploit the passive solar concept, whereby natural ventilation, passive cooling and daylight are optimally utilised. Power from the plant will be transmitted to a substation in the local community. The site will use approximately 9,120 photovoltaic solar modules to convert sunlight into electricity.

Wadhwa said they will transfer electricity to Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited. The investment behind this huge project is done by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the US government that helps U S businesses invest overseas and promotes economic development in new and emerging markets. Other investors include IFC, a member of World Bank group, Helion Advisors, a venture capital firm based in Gurgaon, and India Foundation Capital, a venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California.