India: 1 GW PV power plant in Gujarat?

31. July 2012 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets, Applications & Installations | By:  Jonathan Gifford

Just one day after grid failures resulted in 300 million people going without power for hours in New Delhi, a "ultra mega" solar power project has been proposed in the state of Gujarat. The Gujarat government is reportedly in talks with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to investigate funding such a power plant.

A PV power plant in Gujarat.

Gujarat is already a leading state in India, in terms of the development of photovoltaics, but a one GW plant would break all records.

A one gigawatt (GW) power plant is pretty significant even for traditional energy sources, but for a photovoltaic power plant, it would break all records. Despite this, Mumbai-based English language broadsheet newspaper, Daily News & Analysis (DNA) has reported that talks have been initiated between the Gujarat government and the IFC, which is an arm of the World Bank.

The DNA quotes DJ Pandian, the principal secretary of the Gujarat Energy & Petrochemicals Department in confirming the discussions: "The project is still in the conceptual stage".

Pandian explained that it is the goal of the Gujarat government to see the price of photovoltaic power production to equal that of conventional energy sources. "We have already managed to bring down cost of solar power," he said. "Our idea is to bring down solar power price at par with the grid."

The IFC has confirmed it is in discussions regarding a one GW photovoltaic power, the DNA reports. "We have funded quite a few projects in Gujarat, including solar power projects. We are keen to extend the partnership with Gujarat, and are in talks with the government to see how IFC can help," said IFC Regional Industry Director, Anita George.

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