India maps out 'ultra mega' solar power project

Jessica Shankleman
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Record-breaking 4GW plant to be build in two phases over seven years at a cost of $4.4bn

India moved a step closer to building the world's largest solar project, after the government signed a deal with six companies planning to develop the scheme.

The 4GW project, described by the government as an "ultra mega" solar power project, is reportedly expected to cost US$4.4bn.

It will be installed in two phases in Rajasthan near Jaipur, close to Sambhar Lake, and is expectd to create capacity comparable to four nuclear reactors. The project is expected to be built over seven years, with the first phase delivering 1GW of capacity and the second 3GW, a government statement issued late last month confirmed.

It will be constructed by a joint venture funded by Bharat Heavy Electricals, Solar Energy Corporation of India, Hindustan Salts, Powergrid, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments.

Shri Praful Patel, minister of heavy industries and public enterprises, last week oversaw the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the six firms.

The project is at the forefront of the Indian government's high-profile 'solar mission' initiative, which was launched back in 2010 with the goal of delivering 20GW of solar capacity by the end of the decade.

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