Welspun to start construction of 50 MW solar PV plant in Maharashtra, India

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Welspun Energy has held a ceremony commencing construction of a 50 MW solar PV plant in the state of Maharashtra. The ceremony was attended by several members of India's parliament, and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Shri Ajit Pawarji laid the foundation stone for the Baramati Solar Project.

The project in the Pune district which will be built under a public-private partnership with state utility Mahagenco, which will be contribute a portion of the finance for the Baramati project. Welspun will cover 60% of project costs and receive 62% of the revenue generated.

Welspun plans to build the Baramati Solar plant in two phases, with the first 36 MW to be installed on 75 hectares of government land, and the remaining 14 MW to be built after the acquisition of another 30 hectares.

The plant will add significantly to Maharashtra's installed solar capacity. According to the nation's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) 2/3 of India's installed PV capacity at the beginning of 2014 was in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Maharashtra came in a distant third, with only 237 MW installed.

The project is being supported under Maharashtra's state solar policy.

The timing is also notable, as it follows the recommendation by India's Department of Commerce in May 2014 to impose anti-dumping duties on imported PV. “Since the anti-dumping news came out, India's PV market is pretty much standing still,” notes Mercom Capital CEO Raj Prabhu.

India's Ministry of Finance is expected to make a final decision on the anti-dumping duties in August 2014, and Prabhu notes that solar PV projects that are waiting on imported components are “frozen” until then.

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