100 MW solar PV project underway in Pakistan

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Chinese mounting systems maker Powerway Renewable Energy reports that it will supply its solar mounting systems and ground screw foundations, as well as construction services, to developer TBEA for the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Pakistan.

The project is the first phase of a 1 GW project which the government plans to build in the next two and a half years in Bahawalpur District, Punjab. The office of the Prime Minister estimated in May that this initial 100 MW phase will be complete in December 2014.

The Pakistani government has made a number of ambitious statements regarding solar power, and set rates for a feed-in tariff in January 2014. But as often is the case with developing nations progress on getting projects to the construction stage has been slow.

A number of international companies have signed memorandums of understanding with the government, however the groundbreaking for the Quaid-e-Azam project in May of this year is the first such announcement that PV Magazine has been able to verify.

There is an urgent need for additional electric capacity in Pakistan. According to Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), the gap between demand and supply is around 5 GW, and much of the population suffers from either no access to electricity or irregular access.