Wind company Suzlon enters India solar market with 210 MW project

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Indian wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon Group – which at one point was among the world’s five-largest wind developers – has embarked upon a foray into the solar energy sector after winning a tender to develop 210 MW of solar PV power in the Indian state of Telangana.

The company has signed Letters of Intent (LOIs) with state utility Southern Power Distribution Company of Telangana Limited (TSSPDCL), having secured the rights to develop the solar project via a competitive bidding process.

The overall amount of 210 MW will comprise one headline 100 MW solar farm, an additional 50 MW project and four smaller projects of 15 MW each, with all endeavors scheduled to be commissioned in the fiscal year 2016-17.

Suzlon will build the solar projects under six Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), directly overseeing one project and handing off the others to five acquired companies: Amun Solarfarms Private Limited; Avighna Solarfarms Private Limited; Prathamesh Solarfarms Private Limited; Rudra Solarfarms Private Limited, and Vayudoot Solarfarms Private Limited.

Six power purchase agreements (PPAs) will be signed later this month with TSSPDCL for the solar energy produced at the six separate projects, Suzlon Group CEO Rohit Modi confirmed.

"We are proud to partner with Telangana State Government in this opportunity for providing sustainable and affordable energy with a unique and cost-efficient model of distributed power generation across the state," Modi said. The CEO added that this 210 MW project serves to reinforce Suzlon’s commitment to execute capacities in solar energy each year.

The chairman of Suzlon Group, Tulsi Tanti, weighed in: "Solar and wind are complementary. Hence, we will leverage our project execution capabilities and end-to-end solutions to deliver solar projects."

India’s solar ambitions in recent years are well known, with consultants Bridge to India this week stating that it is "plausible" that the country could add 7.2 GW of utility-scale solar PV capacity in 2016.

The goal of 100 GW by 2022 is considered in some sections of the industry as too optimistic, but the country’s National Democratic Alliance is set to approve clean energy targets that would compel India to hit 250 GW of solar capacity by 2030, while reaching 100 GW of wind by that date.