Several international players have shown interest in setting up solar equipment manufacturing units in Gujarat Solar Park, to be launched by chief minister Narendra Modi on December 30 at Patan in north Gujarat. Japanese MNCs Sharp, Panasonic, Mitsui and TMEIC, Swiss major Oerlikon Corporation and Germany’s Schott Solar have evinced interest in setting up units in the park, say sources.

State government officials met senior executives of these companies during their recent Vibrant Gujarat campaign trips to Japan and Europe,” a senior bureaucrat in the CM office said, adding, “Some of the executives from these companies will be attending the Vibrant Gujarat business meet on January 13.” The official said, the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), USA, provided the initial boost by selecting the site spread over 2,500 acres of land at Santalpur in Patan district for setting up the park. This “particularly impressed” the international giants.

“The CCI in its report for setting up the park at the north Gujarat site found that, at 5.6, solar irradiation here is highest in the country. Rajasthan has a comparable advantage, but its dusty climate discouraged CCI,” an official said.

While the CCI was not in picture post initial study, the initiative for setting up the park has gone to the Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd — nodal agency to ensure systematic implementation of the project. “The 2,500 acre land piece identified for the park is government wasteland, hence has no acquisition hassles,” the official said. “80% of the units in the park will be setting up shop based on photo voltaic solar technology.”

Gujarat government has already signed power purchase agreement with 17 solar companies to set up solar power generation units for the Rs 150-crore project, for more than 200 MW. Power purchase agreements (PPAs) with these firms have been signed, obliging these companies to commission units by December 2011.

The PPAs offer Rs 15 per unit as subsidy for first 12 years, after which the subsidy will go to down to Rs 5 for next 13 years. “Our aim is to ensure grid parity price for solar power generation, which is Rs 4-5 per unit, within a decade so that the technology becomes viable,” an official said.

Source: TOI

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