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Clinton Foundation proposes to set up solar thermal power plant in state

The Clinton Foundation,headed by former US President Bill Clinton,has proposed a solar thermal power project of about 5,000 MW capacity in Gujarat.

Written by Express News Service | Gandhinagar |
June 9, 2009 2:16:12 am

The Clinton Foundation,headed by former US President Bill Clinton,has proposed a solar thermal power project of about 5,000 MW capacity in Gujarat. The Foundation has also proposed to establish a state-of-the-art ‘Solar Park’ on the lines of a special economic zone (SEZ).

A delegation led by Ira Magaziner,the chairman of the Clinton Climate Initiative,called on Chief Minister Narendra Modi here on Monday. He informed Modi that the Foundation was ready to ink an MoU with the government as a “technology partner and project infrastructure developer” for the proposed project.

Magaziner assured the government that the Foundation was also prepared to arrange for finances to fund the same.

After the meeting,Magaziner told Newsline that the Foundation has already got a pre-feasibility report done,which is “positive” in setting up a solar park. There,a 3,000-5,000-MW solar thermal power project as well as units for manufacturing components of the said project could come up.

“The Foundation is looking for low-cost financing from several international agencies,including the Asian Development Bank (ADB),to fund the project. Besides,we have already initiated a dialogue with some 15 leading global companies inviting them to set up solar power generation and component manufacturing units in the proposed park in Gujarat,” Magaziner said.

He said about 8,000 to 13,000 hectares of land would be required for the project. The Foundation has proposed to the government that this Solar Park could be established on the lines of a SEZ in the state.

Magaziner said though the land for the project is yet to be identified,it could be set up either in Kutch — the desert district endowed with high solar radiation with 300 days of clear sun — or in Banaskantha and Patan districts of north Gujarat.

“The project will require a huge quantum of water. Hence,we will prefer only that area which has water facility,” he added.

To a question,Magaziner said that since the Foundation is basically an NGO working mainly in the field of health and development of environment-friendly solar energy,its role in the proposed project would be that of a technology partner and infrastructure developer.

The main players in it will be the state government and prospective investors of international repute.

Magaziner and his team members will also visit Rajasthan on Tuesday and have a meeting with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and senior officials to explore the possibility of setting up a similar project in that state.

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