India’s Adani Group has opened a 648 megawatts (MW) solar plant in Tamil Nadu, south India.
The project in Kamuthi, Ramanathapuram, is the world’s largest solar plant “in a single location”, says the Gujarat-based company, adding that it cost more than 45 billion rupees (Dh2.48bn).
Adani, which has interests in energy and logistics, wants to add 10,000MW of solar capacity in India by 2022. It is planning a solar park in Rajasthan, in the north. It is also developing a solar panel factory in Gujarat.
Gautam Adani, the company’s chairman, said that the Tamil Nadu plant “reinstates the country’s ambitions of becoming one of the leading green energy producers in the world”.
The government is aiming to generate 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power by 2022 including 100GW of solar power. It says the country needs US$250 billion of investment in energy infrastructure in the next few years.
More than 300 million Indians live without electricity, according to the World Bank, and many parts of India experience regular blackouts.
India’s solar sector has gained increased focus because of “the government’s ambitious installation target followed by favourable reforms”, said India Ratings and Research, part of the Fitch Group. “The sharp fall in the capital cost has made the India solar sector an attractive proposition for investors across the globe.”
US solar company SunEdison entered India in 2011 and other names, including Canada’s SkyPower Global and China’s Trina Solar, have followed.
Indian conglomerates, including Tata, Reliance, Aditya Birla, are also involved in the sector.
ReNew Power, an Indian renewable energy company with solar projects across the country, announced a year ago that the sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority had invested US$200 million in a minority stake in the company.
Japan’s SoftBank and Taiwan’s Foxconn, known for manufacturing smartphones including the iPhone, announced in June last year that they would invest $20bn in solar projects, along with India’s Bharti Enterprises.
Tata Power has a target of generating 20 to 25 per cent of its power from clean sources.
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