Just 14 months ago, the Indian state of Gujarat announced that it was building a $2.3-billion solar park — the largest photovoltaic power station the world has seen so far.
Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, revealed this Thursday via Twitter that the solar park had been switched on:
“Gujarat dedicates 600 MW of solar power to the nation today. We are celebrating the launch of Agni V & dedication of 600 MW solar power park in Gujarat.”
“This achievement is not merely a step in the direction of power conservation, but it provides the world with a vision of how the power needs of future generations can be solved in an environment-friendly manner.”
The new addition to India’s electrical grid triples its current solar power capacity. The solar park is three times larger than the Chinese Golmud Solar Park, which held the record since it was finished in October 2011 with a total capacity of 200 MW.
This is one of many projects to come if India is to reach its green goals within 2020: 15% of India’s total energy consumption should come from renewable sources of energy. The country is currently at 6%.
The project has been a collaboration between 21 different companies, including several from the U.S. Another $400 million is reserved for renewable energy in the very same region where the new solar park operates. Modi says they are planning to encourage the development residential solar panels with a lot of this money.
The project is certainly a great addition to India and the rest of the world’s renewable energy capacity. However, the Gujarat solar park is very small compared to the planned TuNur project, part of the DESERTEC project. That will be a 2,000-MW concentrated solar power plant and is supposed to be operating in Tunisia by 2016.
Photo courtesy of the state of Gujarat
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