Guwahati, Tuesday, February 15, 2011
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US co proposes solar plant in Meghalaya
Raju Das
 SHILLONG, Feb 14 – A United States-based company, Azure Power, has proposed to set up a solar plant in Meghalaya with one time investment of Rs 150 crore to generate 10 megawatt of solar energy.

The US-based solar power producer firm having its international headquarters at California and its headquarters in India at New Delhi, has already negotiated with the State Government for signing the solar power purchase agreement (SPPA) once the site for setting up the proposed solar plant is finalised.

“We have submitted our proposal to the Meghalaya Government and had discussion with Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma and other officials. If everything goes well, we have the capacity to install the plant within this year,” Azure Power Chairman HS Wadhwa told journalists here on Saturday.

Wadhwa said the proposed solar plant would be set up in a place where it will be suitable to both Azure and the State Government.

According to him, sunrays are in abundance in Meghalaya and sunshine is viable for setting up the plant in Ri-Bhoi district bordering Assam and West Garo Hills district bordering Assam and Bangladesh.

The Azure official claimed that the proposed plant once fully operational, will employ most advanced solar photovoltaic technology and eliminate as much carbon dioxide pollution through green energy which will not harm the nature besides creating opportunity for employment.

Wadhwa said that the Rs 150 crore one-time investment for setting up the proposed solar plant in Meghalaya would be funded to Azure by World Bank in which the cost per mega watt is Rs 15 crore.

Azure Power has already operationalised India’s first private solar power plant in Punjab in 2009 and two plants in Gujarat.

Azure Power has also invested about Rs 180 crore in Gujarat to develop another 15 mega watt solar photovoltaic power plant and signed a 25-year SPPA with Gujarat for the Rs 180 crore project, which is expected to be commissioned by September 2011.

Wadhwa informed that Azure is negotiating with the Gujarat Government to set up a 100 MW solar power plant and also to develop similar plant in Rajasthan.

“Our aim is to be a leading solar power generator in India by offering viable and socially-responsible alternatives to conventional sources of energy. We have therefore planned to come up with solar power plant in every State of the country to encourage using of green energy which is environment-friendly and pollution-free,” Wadhwa said.

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