The Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) has issued offer letters, so far, to an Indian and two American companies for setting up solar power plants at Kadiri in Anantapur district where it has earmarked an area of 5,000 acres for allotment to solar power projects.
According to APIIC chairman and managing director BP Acharya, the three companies will together invest over Rs 3,000 crore. While US-based Sunborne will be investing Rs 2,000 crore, California-based AES Solar and Hyderabad-based Lanco Solar will be investing about Rs 600 crore each.
Participating in a panel discussion on solar and renewable energy here on Thursday, Acharya said offer letters for setting up solar projects at the place would be issued to some more companies during the three-day SolarCon India 2009, an exposition and conference on solar energy, to be held in the city from November 9.
He said that besides the 5,000 acres earmarked already, an addition 15,000 acres of land was available at Kadiri for allotment to various solar companies. The barren land was surveyed by the Tata Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) and was found to be suitable for setting up solar power units. The interested companies have also surveyed the area and felt it was suitable for their projects.
While the proposed units at Kadiri would generate solar power to cater to the needs of the domestic sector, the projects set up in the Hyderabad Fab City manufacture solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, 70 per cent of which are currently being exported. The latest company that has evinced interest in setting up a unit in the Fab City is BHEL, which will be investing Rs 500 crore.
“The Fab City alone will be generating 3 Gw (3,000 Mw) of solar power in the next 7-10 years,” Acharya said adding about seven out of the 20 companies, which had been allotted land here, would commence commercial operations in the next four years.
He said the Humburg-based Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems had agreed to set up a training and quality testing centre in the city for the benefit of solar PV manufacturers. A memorandum of understanding is likely to be signed in this regard when institute's head, Eicke Weber, visits the city to take part in SolarCon. Efforts are also on for setting up a research and development centre in collaboration with the University of Hyderabad.
Emphasising the need to give a big boost to solar power generation, Acharya said the state government had prepared a draft solar energy policy, which would be released after the central policy on this sector is announced on November 14. Hereafter, SolarCon would be an annual event to be held in the city.
Titan Energy Systems managing director, Sankar Rao, said the cost of Solar PV has already come down from $7 to $3.5 per Mw and in another 10 years the cost would be on a par with other sources of energy.
SEMI India president, Sathya Prasad, said the cost of solar power would decease with the adoption of new technologies and as the industry achieves economies of scale.