The largest solar power project in Pakistan has started to take shape as orders have been placed for the mounting structures for solar photovoltaic modules. These mounting structures will be supplied by China-based Clenergy International.
Clenergy International has joined hands with TBEA SunOasis to supply mounting structures for 40 MW of solar PV modules to the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park project. The proposed 1,000 MW project will have 100 MW installed by the end of this year while the project is expected to achieve the full capacity by 2016.
Clenergy and TBEA SunOasis have partnered for several solar power projects, but this is their first major venture outside Chinese borders. TBEA SunOasis will cover engineering, procurement and construction of the project, in addition to its operation and maintenance.
The progress on this flagship power project would bring relief to a country stricken with acute power shortages. Hydro and thermal power projects are struggling to generate power to match the demand. The hydro power generation has dropped significantly due to a weak monsoon this year, while the thermal power projects are short of fuel.
The shortage of electricity has forced the hand of utilities, which have taken to load shedding for up to 18 hours a day. The dismal state of the power sector is being seen as one of the several reasons for the ongoing political protests in the country.
Renewable energy sources can play a major role in the rejuvenation of Pakistan’s power sector. According to a report by US AID, the country has an estimated wind and solar energy potential of 143,000 MW. Several wind energy and solar power projects would be needed for the country to fill the 6,000 MW gap in power supply which is increasing with the demand rising by 8% every year.
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