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India plans ‘ultra mega’ 4 GW solar power plant

India’s government has unveiled plans to build an “ultra mega” 4 GW solar power plant in the northwestern state of Rajasthan.

According to the Indian government, the power plant will be built on a 23,000-acre site close to Sambhar Lake, about 75 km from Jaipur, the state capital.

“Being the first project of this scale anywhere in the world this project is expected to set a trend for large scale solar power development in the world,” the government said in a statement. The plant’s proposed capacity is around three times India’s current total solar power production.

The project, called the Sambhar Ultra Mega Green Solar Power Project, is the brainchild of the Ministry of Heavy Industry, which said it expects to complete the 1 GW first phase — 10 times larger than the largest operational Indian solar power plant — by the end of 2016.

“The first phase of the project is expected to be implemented through a joint venture company to be formed with equity from BHEL, Solar Energy Corp. of India, Power Grid Corp., Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Ltd,” the ministry said. The five companies are state-owned.

“Based on the experience gained during implementation of the first phase of project, the remaining capacity would be implemented through a variety of models,” the ministry continued.

The majority of solar projects in India, developed under the auspices of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, are located in Rajasthan. The state is India’s largest, with high insolation, a strong grid and state-owned land banks for grid-connected solar projects
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