Around 3,500 technicians and workers are toiling day and night at the location of what will soon be one of Asia’s largest single-site solar park, with a capacity to produce 150 Mega Watts of solar energy.
After being stalled over environmental clearances, the solar project at Shivajinagar Sakri, a tribal district in Dhule, 350-km from the city, is set to start production, albeit partial, by March-end.
Indo-German financial institution KFW has given state power generation company Mahagenco a Rs. 1,600-crore loan for the project. The project is worth approximately Rs2,000 crore. The state will finance 20% of the project.
The ambitious project was conceived in 2010, but delayed owing to environment and forest clearances. In August 2012, Maha-genco allotted work contracts and it expects the park to be fully functional by mid-2013. Three companies — Lanco, Megha and Prithvi — have been involved in constructing the park.
Of the 150MW, 100MW will be generated using crystalline technology (good for high-intensity solar radiation) and the other 50MW using thin film (for low-intensity radiation). The dual technologies will ensure power generation even when radiation levels fluctuate owing to climatic conditions.
“The park will help the state meet the increasing power demand and overcome the effects of global warming,” said a Mahagenco spokesperson. He said the park will reduce carbon emission by 2.2 lakh Certified Emission Reduction (CER) units and earn the company an annual carbon credit worth Rs. 10 crore.