Thursday, February 14, 2008

India: West Bengal to have grid-connected solar power plant

(IANS) State-owned Power Finance Corp Ltd (PFC) Thursday inked a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with West Bengal Green Energy Development Corp Ltd (WBGEDCL) to set up India’s first grid-connected solar power plant. The 2-MW photovoltaic plant would come up at Dishergarh Power Station Complex near Asansol in Burdwan district of southern West Bengal.
“The unit will come up over 8.3 acres of land with an investment of more than Rs.410 million. The state government will take about Rs.400 million from the PFC to execute the project,” West Bengal Power Minister Mrinal Banerjee told reporters here.
He said this solar power plant would be the first of its kind in South Asia. “We are expecting to complete the first module of the project by July this year and the second module will also be finished by the end of 2008,” he said.
WBGEDCL is promoted by the state government for promotion and development of grid-connected renewable sources of energy. It is implementing renewable energy programmes of the central Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and West Bengal.
MNRE has set for itself a goal to add an additional 14,000-MW of grid-quality power through renewable resources by the end of 11th five-year plan (2007-12).
According to estimates, West Bengal has a potential to add 10,000-MW through renewable energy, including solar sources. At present, the installed capacity of electric power from non-conventional renewable energy sources in West Bengal is 76 MW.
In addition to this, WBGEDCL has drawn up an action plan to add 400 MW of power through renewable energy sources by 2012.
Banerjee said there were some projects in the pipeline for a solar energy park in Purulia district.
“The solar energy park will have separate power projects by private investors and the total capacity would be around 30 MW. About 100 acres would be required for that,” he said.

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