Solairedirect crowns 21MW India solar farm as minister Royal attends inauguration

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The solar industry in India, which appears to be rapidly gaining momentum, has celebrated the connection of another project, this time a 21MW solar park in Faizka, Punjab.

The regional government of Punjab had awarded the contract to build the project to a French developer, Solairedirect. The park will have an annual output of 39GWh, with electricity sold from this and other Solairdirect projects in India for €95 (US$107.44) per MWh.

The company won the contract through a request for proposal (RfP) process in mid-2013. Indian investment firm PTC Financial put in the required capital to get financing for the project underway, although the amounts involved were not disclosed by Solairedirect. The company claims it has also been awarded contracts to develop 57MW of PV in Telangana in India’s south.

Development of solar energy and related technologies such as microgrids and storage have taken on great importance in Indian politics, with prime minister Modi’s government redoubling and expanding measures to boost renewables, including the ambitious National Solar Mission (JNNSM). Dr Rahul Walawalkar of the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) wrote in a recent guest blog for PV Tech’s sister site, PV Tech Storage, that he saw the coming decade as one of “energy transformation” in India.

International allies including US president Barack Obama have also put their weight behind supporting India’s solar efforts – among spending commitments made during Obama’s recent visit was investment into renewable energy which could be worth more than US$2 billion. A dispute over India’s domestic content requirement for projects is however ongoing.

The inauguration of the new 21MW park in Fazika was attended by French former presidential candidate and current minister of ecology and sustainable development Segolene Royal. Royal has herself been behind recent high profile policy moves to support, or perhaps resuscitate, France’s own solar industry.

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