India: ADB loan to boost Gujarat’s large-scale solar industry

The funds will go towards the Gujarat Solar Power Transmission Project. Specifically, says ADB, they will be used to construct a substation, transmission lines and other equipment, which will collect and distribute the solar power generated by plants in the Charanka solar park.

"By putting in reliable power transmission facilities in the solar park, ADB will help draw in private sector developers, while providing a model which can be replicated to scale up solar power in a significant manner in India," commented Naoki Sakai, senior climate change specialist at ADB.

The ADB adds that the Charanka solar park, which aims to reach 500 megawatts (MW) of power, is just "one of a number" of large scale solar parks in the Gujarat pipeline.

A total of $137 million will be invested into the park, with the Gujarat Government reportedly providing counterpart funds of nearly $37 million.

It has been said that the Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation and the Government of Gujarat will jointly execute the project, which will include both photovoltaic and concentrated solar plants. It is expected to be completed by 2014.

In a statement issued, ADB says, "Along with physical infrastructure, the project will provide vocational skills training for up to 300 people in target areas, with 30 percent of them women, as well as energy-based livelihood programs for up to 100 poor women."