Rs 240 billion solar business awaits companies in TN

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The new solar energy policy unveiled by the Tamil Nadu Government appears to offer business opportunity worth Rs 240 billion and the companies are waiting to test the waters once the government specifies on the contours of the new policy.

The excitement of the solar power producers is due to government’s insistence on sourcing particular quantity of solar power by large industrial consumers and also the luxury of producing at a cheaper rate, compared to the conventional sources.

R Chellappan, managing director, Swelect Energy Systems Limited, Chennai, talked about two kinds of technologies that are utilised by the solar power industry. “The thin film technology would cost about Rs 70 million to Rs 75 million per MW. But if the investors adopted silicon (poly or mono crystalline) technology, the cost might be in the range of Rs 75 million to Rs 80 million per MW. The advantage of the latter is that, it requires lesser space compared to thin film based solar technology.”

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Talking in reference to the recent solar energy policy, he said, “Tamil Nadu Government had unveiled the new solar energy policy and the industry was waiting for the GO to be out which would commit the consumers to the Solar Purchase Obligation (SPO), category-wise.” Many companies have announced their intention to grab the business opportunity offered by the policy to become Independent Power Producers (IPPs), including his company. The overall investment to achieve a generation of 3,000 MW of solar power by 2015 in the state is expected to be in the range of Rs 210 billion to Rs 240 billion.

Talking about the company’s plans in the state, he said, “Swelect was planning to come out with the largest solar power project in Tamil Nadu in Sivaganga District with an overall investment of Rs 850 million to Rs 900 million that would be funded through internal resources. The land for the project has been acquired and he expected the project to be completed by August next year. This would be a single location, centralised, 10 MW solar installation completely grid-tied, which will make the project one of biggest in the state.”

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