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The Maharashtra government, in a bid to strengthen its footing in the renewable energy segment, is planning to set up a 500-Mw solar park in Dhule district. “We already have 1,000 acres available to set up a 250-Mw solar park,” Arvind Singh, principal secretary (energy), Maharashtra, said on Thursday. “We were planning to have a thermal power plant here, but now we are planning to use this land for the first phase of the solar park.” He was speaking on the sidelines of the ‘Renew India 2017: The Power of Renewable Energy’, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Even as the exact area for the second phase of the park is yet to be identified, Singh said that a piece of land adjacent to the existing location in Dhule would be looked at to set up another 250-Mw solar park. “The entire investment in the park will come from private parties and we will be calling for bids sometime in the next quarter,” he said. “There are two more private players who are looking to set up solar power plants in Maharashtra,” said Singh, without divulging any details regarding names of the entities or location of the plants. This is not the first time the state has planned for a solar park. In 2015, Sarus Solar, a joint venture (JV) of three Canadian firms, had planned to invest Rs 6,500 crore to set up a 500-Mw solar photo-voltaic farm in Thane. Sarus Solar was a consortium of PV manufacturer Canadian Solar, EPC firm Guycan Solar, and investment firm Mackie Research Capital Corporation.