Gujarat focus to the largely untapped wind energy and solar power

Gujarat already has installed wind farm capacity of more than 1,900 MW, which is almost 15% of the state’s total power generation capacity of 13,354 MW. This capacity is projected to increase to around 2,500 MW by the end of this year with commissioning of some wind turbines projects.

State mineral and mining PSU Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) said it will set up a 5 MW solar energy plant on the reclaimed land of mined out pits at Panandhro in Kutch district.

The state government has set its sights on achieving wind farm capacity of a whopping 10,000 MW in the coming five to six years. "There is a lot of potential in wind energy in the state, particularly in Kutch and Saurashtra. There is potential to generate 10,000 MW of clean energy by harnessing wind energy, which we plan to tap in the next few years," says DJ Pandian, principal secretary, energy & petrochemicals department.

Another focus area of the state government is solar power. Kutch and north Gujarat in particular, which receive sunlight for 300 days in a year, are expected to witness a lot of action in the field of solar power generation, according to state energy minister Saurabh Patel.

The state government has also roped in consultancy firm KPMG to prepare a roadmap to make the most of solar power in the state. Already, the state government is in the process of setting up a solar park at Charanka in Patan, which will house solar power generation units. The government has signed power purchase agreements for over 950 MW of solar power, of which 300 MW is expected to go on stream in the state by December 31.

Pandian says that Gujarat will have the highest installed solar power generation capacity in the whole country in a few months from now. "Gujarat is the leader in solar power generation, but we don’t want to rest on our laurels. We are targeting solar power generation of 3,000 MW in five years," he says further, adding that things were moving in the right direction.