Moser Baer India to develop 1-megawatt solar-power project in Maharashtra

Friday, September 4, 2009, 6:00 by Business Editor

Global technology company Moser Baer India Limited has been awarded a contract to develop, in Chandrapur in Maharashtra, one of the biggest indigenous solar power projects in India.

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Moser Baer India has won the engineering procurement construction (EPC) contract for the 1-megawatt solar project by Mahagenco, a power generation company owned by the government of Maharashtra.

Moser Baer was awarded the contract based on a global tender, in which 20 companies took part.

According to a press release from Moser Baer India, the project will be commissioned in consortium with SunEnergy GMBH, a specialised photovoltaic (PV) systems company headquartered in Germany.

SunEnergy GMBH has over 10 years of experience in commissioning large solar-power projects.

Moser Baer Photovoltaic and PV Technologies India, which are engaged in producing photovoltaic solar cells and plants, are the subordinates of Moser Baer India.

The planned solar-power farm at Chandrapur would be one of the biggest of such projects anywhere in the world using amorphous silicon (or, thin film) photovoltaic technology.

Included in the terms of agreement in the contract are commissioning of the solar-power project by January 2010 as well as its maintenance thereafter.

In the press release, Rajiv Arya, chief executive officer of Moser Baer’s photovoltaic business, said that the proposed plant to be set up at Chandrapur would “showcase the company’s EPC as also project its development capabilities.”

Meanwhile, in another “green” development, the government of Gujarat has approved 34 solar-power projects at an investment of Rs 12,000 crore (Rs 120 billion, or $2.4 billion) over the next some years.

According to an official of the state government-managed Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA), the planned solar-power projects would help Gujarat rank first in India vis-à-vis clean energy.

The 34 projects are expected to add 716 megawatts of power to Gujarat’s electricity grid – making for 2%-3% of the state’s total power requirement.

The 34 solar-power plants, the official explained, would generate a total of 1,250 million units of eco-friendly electricity each year, resulting in doing away with the use of as much as 875,000 tonnes of coal and emission of 1.25 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse-gas that has been mainly blamed for climate change, and climate change is already hitting agricultural production, causing more droughts, storms and floods, as well as raising the sea level hazardously.
It may be noted that India is one of the nations that has been hit badly by the ill-effects of climate change.

According to the latest annual Economic Survey, India is spending 2.6% of its gross domestic product (GDP) – which comes to about $1.2 trillion – to tackle the effects of climate change.

And, the National Action Plan on Climate Change has identified solar power as the main alternative means to produce clean electricity since thermal power plants that use coal are the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.

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