This could well be the world’s largest solar power project at a single location if all goes as planned.
The US-based Clinton Foundation is in talks with the Gujarat government to set up an ‘Integrated Solar City’ project with a capacity to generate a 5,000 Mw over a period of time.
The project, tagged as one of the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) into the state, will also be a landmark project as the cost of power generation is likely to be 70 per cent less — around Rs 20,000 crore — than the conventional cost of generation, say sources close to the development.
The project envisages an integrated solar city wherein all the raw materials including glass and panels will be produced by them, bringing down the cost substantially, said a senior government official.
The cost of generation for thermal energy is about Rs 10-11 per unit. However, according to estimates of Clinton Foundation, the power produced in the solar city will cost around Rs 4 per unit, going by the scale of the project and technology advancement they have on hand.
The Gujarat government has roped in US-based Nobel Laureate John Byrne for charting the state’s solar roadmap and is considering Kutch and Banaskantha as favourable locations for the mega project.
“The Foundation, supported by the likes of GE Energy and Microsoft, already has a war chest of $12 billion which it wants to utilise for green energy initiatives,” sources said.
The world’s largest solar power plant is currently in Mojave Desert of California with a capacity that will go up to 900 Mw in few years.
The Clinton Foundation is also in talks with governments of Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan for setting up solar power projects.