Canadian Solar JV to construct 500 MW India solar plant

A joint venture (JV) between Canadian Solar and two additional Canada-based renewable energy firms has announced plans to invest more than $1 billion in the creation of a 500 MW solar PV plant in India.

The JV Sarus Solar has been created to embark on a lengthy solar development plan in the country, with the inaugural 500 MW plant in the state of Maharashtra set to be the first of many large-scale solar PV parks throughout India.

Penciled in for development in the state’s Thane district, the project is currently seeking power purchase agreements (PPAs) with local utilities. Sarus Solar has also confirmed that it will work with local company Neelkanth Solar Energy to enable a smooth development schedule.

According to Sarus Solar’s head of operations India, Arun Agarwal, India’s bold goal to develop 100 GW of solar PV by 2022 attracted Canadian Solar to the market. "The Canadian firm saw huge potential in the solar sector in India, especially after the government announced its [solar] target," Agarwal said.

"We plan to set up several solar parks of 500 MW in the country. To begin with we will create the first one in Maharashtra with an investment of Rs 6,500 crore."

Approval from the Maharashtra government is still to be forthcoming, but Sarus Solar does not anticipate any problems on that front. Canadian EPC Guycan will develop the plant, Canadian Solar will provide the solar panels and Mackie Research is to fund the initial project in its entirety.

Agarwal added that the Maharashtra plant is expected to be completed within 30 months of its commission. "Once this project begins, we will develop a similar 500 MW park in [the northeastern Indian state of] Jharkhand," he said.