I know, Mridul normally covers our India stories, but I like to cover one from time to time myself as well. Gujarat, an Indian state, announced plans earlier today to invest over 105 billion rupees ($2.3 billion) in a 500-MW solar park. No small news.
“The proposed park will be located on 2,000 hectares of land at Charanka village and will be connected to the grid by the state-owned electricity utility,” Tom Young of Business Green reports. Never heard of Charanka? Nevermind. The point is that at this location, the park is expected to get sunlight 330 days a year, and studies show the expected average intensity to be six kilowatts per square meter.
The state government is taking care of most of the work, already completing geotechnical and topographic surveys and intending to provide the necessary electricity, water, drainage, and transportation infrastructure.
“Plots will be leased on 30-year contracts to companies and the Gujarat government has already agreed to purchase nearly 933MW of power generated by the solar farms to help encourage further investors,” Young reports.
The state government is looking at this solar park as an economic stimulus project. And it is reported that 80 solar power project investors have already contacted the government.
“The park will have a need for assembling, civil works, electrical wiring, solar panel cleaning and thus will give employment to large number of local people,” it says.
The government intends for there to be research and development projects on the site and want the necessary machinery to be manufactured locally.
In 2009, Gujarat introduced solar power legislation and announced its plan to create 1,000 MW of solar power by 2012 and 3,000 MW by 2015. Some of the tools it is looking to use are feed-in tariffs and tax cuts for solar power generators. Sounds like a good plan.
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Photo Credit: Sunset in rural Gujarat by jkairvar