ADB offers funding for 100 MW Indian CSP plant

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Reliance Power has been awarded the right to develop a total of 470 MW worth of CSP by the Indian government under the first phase of its National Solar Mission (NSM). The latest 100 MW project will be located near the village of Dhursar in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. The site is said to have one of the highest levels of direct sunlight in the country.

The plant is scheduled for completion in May. It is expected to cost a total of $415 million. In addition to the ABD loan, other bilateral agencies and local commercial lenders will provide funds. "It will be the first thermal solar energy plant built by Reliance Power, a listed company of the Reliance ADA Group," said the company in a statement released.

Michael Barrow, director in ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department added, "We hope that the success of this project will spur others to invest in the solar energy sector, which has massive potential in India."

In an interview with pv magazine at the start of March, the ADB’s Seethapathy Chander said the bank financed about 200 MW worth of solar projects in India in 2011 – between 160 and 170 MW has since come online. This year, Chander said around 300 MW will be financed.

In related news, Naoki Sakai, senior energy specialist from the ADB announced at the end of last week that $500million would be made available to the Gujarat Government. The funds are expected to go towards research and development of solar, vocational training with the Pandit Deen Dayal Petroleum University, and the development of smart grids and a second solar park in Gujarat.

Overall, the Indian government is targeting two gigawatts (GW) of installed solar power by 2013, 10 GW by 2017, and 20 GW by 2022.