A delegation of leading French companies specialising in solar energy, led by Ambassador of France to India Francois Richier, held discussions with officials of the Energy Department on Friday to explore investment possibilities in the backdrop of the government’s solar power policy.

Among various other measures to push for solar energy in the State, the decision by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) in asking HT and LT industries to meet six per cent of their demand through solar energy from January 1 next year is expected to create a demand to the tune of 1,000 MW.

The State government utility, according to Energy secretary Rajesh Lakhoni, has even received letters of commitment from many developers to put up solar energy plants capable of generating to the tune of 698 MW.

He also added that the State hoped to reach a target of 3000 MW of installed solar power plants by the year 2015.

Leading companies from France – Areva Renewable, Fonroche, Sunpower India, Total and Solaire Direct – made presentations of their available solutions.

The industry benchmark for capital cost of a 1 MW solar power plant is in the range of Rs. eight crore, something that the French companies said they could try and compete with.