A group of textile units in Tirupur and Coimbatore districts have joined hands to establish a 20 MW solar project in the State. The project was commissioned recently in two phases.

M. Ramasamy, Managing Director of Alpine Knits India, and D. Prabhu, secretary of Texpreneurs Forum, told The Hindu on Wednesday that Alpine Knits commissioned a one MW roof-top solar project in March last year at its spinning mill. Nearly 16 lakh units of energy were generated during the last one year. The solar energy system was connected to the grid and when the grid was shut down, the system was used to run the generator at the mill. With this, the use of diesel to operate the generator was reduced.

Details of the project were shared with the members of the Forum and four more textile units in the region have gone in for roof-top solar projects of one MW each.

Subsequently, six textile units and an investor came together and put up a 20 MW solar energy project at Musiri on about 80 acres. The total investment in the project was Rs. 142 crore. Nearly 16 MW had been commissioned and connected to the grid, they said.

The remaining four MW would also be commissioned soon. Power generated from the project would be for the captive use of the six textile units. Though this would not be adequate to meet the entire energy needs of a textile unit, it would give them clean power and also help meet the solar purchase obligation when it would be implemented. Mr. Ramasamy said since the State had huge potential for solar energy generation and there was a demand for power, the Government should look at facilitating investments. Industries were reluctant to go in for it because of the high cost. Further, the return on investment was not attractive. The Government should permit banking of solar energy for use by the industries during the peak hours, he said.

More In: Coimbatore