To be promoted under the public-private partnership mode

A 100-megawatt (MW) solar energy park is to come up in Ramanathapuram district, one of the economically backward districts of the State, at a cost of Rs. 920 crore.

To be established over 500 acres in Paramakudi taluk, the park project will be promoted under the public-private partnership mode. “This will be the country’s first solar energy park to be set up through the PPP mode,” according to an official release.

A memorandum of understanding was signed on Thursday in the presence of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa by Principal Secretary/Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO), Hans Raj Verma, and CMD of Raasi Green Earth Energy, C. Narasimhan.

The release added that it had been planned to complete the project in 12 months. This would facilitate generation of employment, directly and indirectly, to a total of about 2,000 persons. This would be the first project to be implemented under the Solar Energy Policy 2012 of the State government. The policy envisaged implementation of solar power projects to the tune of 3,000 MW by 2015.

As for the involvement of the TIDCO, the release mentioned that the State government had given a direction for the implementation of solar power park projects of 1,000 MW in five years through the TIDCO with the help of government and private organisations.

An official said the task of land acquisition had been left to the private promoter. However, the government would enable creation of infrastructure and power evacuation. A large number of investors would be invited to set up the power plants in the park.

As to whether there would be solar photovoltaic plants or solar thermal plants, the official replied that the MOU was not technology-specific. Both versions of solar units could be put up in the proposed park.

The project implementation would be done through a special purpose vehicle to be floated by the TIDCO and the private promoter.

The SPV would arrange funds for investors besides handling operation and maintenance of the power plants in the park.

After the MOU was signed, the Chief Minister, in her remarks, stated that she was happy to know that the project promoter had planned to expand the capacity to 1,000 MW.

Assuring the promoter of the State government’s total cooperation, she said the project would prove to be a launching platform for many more such projects in the State.

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