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Azure to build 100-Mw solar power capacity

Mansi Taneja  |  New Delhi 

Solar-power company Azure Power aims to build a 100-megawatt (Mw) solar power capacity in the next three-five years and is in initial discussions with mobile phone operators and other industrial houses to offer commercial solar power.

The company plans to invest about Rs 1500 crore in the project, Chief Executive Officer Inderpreet S Wadhwa told Business Standard.

“Currently, we are generating 1 Mw of solar power from our Punjab plant. Another 1 Mw will come up in a month. Apart from this, we are already in the process of adding 25-30 mw of solar power in other states,” he said.

Currently, Azure has agreements with state-power utilities for solar power supply. To move beyond this, the company has also started preliminary discussions with one of the telecom player and industrial houses for providing solar power.

If the agreement goes through, the company would install solar panels on the telecom towers, which would enable mobile firms to save costs, especially in rural areas.

“We are working on the business model for selling solar power commercially. We expect to bag a deal by next year,” Wadhwa added.

The company, which had raised $10 million (Rs 46.47 crore) from World Bank arm International Finance Corp in March. The company is also part-funded by venture capitalists Helion Venture Partners and Foundation Capital, Wadhwa said without giving out details.

Apart from 2 Mw plant in Punjab, the company is setting up a 10-Mw plant in Gujarat, another 10 Mw in Karnataka and Rajasthan each and 2 Mw in Haryana.

The government has recently announced National Solar Mission, which aims at setting up over 20,000 mw of solar power generation capacity in three stages by the end of the thirteenth Plan period ending 2022. Currently, the solar power capacity of the nation stands at 4 mw.

“To generate 1 mw of solar power, it costs about Rs 17 crore, but we expect the prices to decrease in the future and by 2017, solar power would be able to compete with retail thermal selling prices,” he said.

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First Published: Sun, September 12 2010. 00:46 IST