Gujarat to start generating 100 MW solar power in 6 months

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi said that the state will start generating 100-MW solar energy in the next six months. Modi said this at the inauguration of the phase-five MW-of total 10 MW solar power plant, set up by Azure Power at Khadoda village in Sabarkantha district, around 120 kms from Ahmedabad.

He said that Gujarat is already on the way to become a global hub in renewable energy sector and would also become a global capital of solar power energy.

He said that Gujarat was the first state to set up a separate department of Climate Change and announce a Solar Energy Policy way back in 2001.

Taking a dig at the Congress-led UPA government, Modi said that it was only after Gujarat formed the policy, that the government of India followed its suit. "But the central policy is fraught with several discrepancies," he said.

Criticising central government’s solar policy, Modi said, "Gujarat and Rajasthan are known to have the maximum potential for producing solar energy. But, the Congress sultanate at the centre is hell bent in blocking Gujarat’s growth, by allotting only 20 MW to Gujarat, out of the centre’s plan to produce 800-MW solar energy in the entire country".

"Nobody can stop the progress of six-crore Gujaratis, as the state has taken a number of steps including building the world’s largest solar park and solar component manufacturing industry near the Rann of Kutch in north Gujarat, in collaboration with world leaders in the field," the chief minister said.

"State will also focus on solar energy related research, as it will not only protect the natural resources through the use of clean energy, but also create many new jobs," Modi said. .

"Azure solar power plant in Khadoda is one of the largest utility scale solar power plants in the country. The second phase of Azure solar power plant will add another 5 MW, which is slated to be commissioned by September-end, this year," Azure Power chairman H S Wadhva said.

The plant, set up at an investment of Rs 170 crore, on Build-Own-Operate basis, is projected to illuminate over one lakh homes in the rural pockets and with the commissioning of entire 10 MW by September-end this year, it is expected to meet power needs of around 150 villages in Gujarat.

The project is funded by Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the US government, IFC, an arm of World Bank, and venture capitalists like Helion Advisors and Foundation Capital of California.

The Gujarat government shall be buying power from the plant as part of a long term 25-year Power Purchase Agreement, signed with the company. The plant is expected to generate 60,000 units of electricity per day.