70,000 solar panels generate 15 MW of solar power for Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, US (Wikimedia Commons)

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Maharashtra, India starts solar power PPP

15 July 2014 | By GCR Staff | 1 Comment

India’s Maharashstra state is getting a new solar plant capable of powering nearly a quarter of a million homes.

Indian renewable developer Welspun Energy (WEPL) will build the 50MW plant in Baramati, Pune district, in a public-private partnership (PPP) with Maharashtra State Power Generation Company.

WEPL will put up 60% of the project’s cost and will get 62% of revenues. Three firms bid for the PPP but WEPL offered to share the most revenues, it said.

“Addressing climate change while balancing development needs is a critical priority area,” said Maharashtra’s deputy chief minister, Shri Ajit Pawar, at the groundbreaking on Monday. “It is our obligation to focus on energy security as well as relook the way we have been using energy.” 

The 50MW capacity will come in two phases. The first sees a 36MW-generating installation on 74 hectares of government land, with the balance installed after 30 additional hectares of land are acquired.

WEPL claims that up to 83,220 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions will be mitigated in each of the plant’s 25 expected years in operation. It will generate enough energy to power 240,000 households, the company said.

Elsewhere Welspun is building solar projects in the states of Tamil Nadu and Punjab. Construction has begun on its 36MW Punjab project site and an MoU has been signed for an additional 151MW capacity. The company hopes to develop 1.75GW of renewable capacity within three years.