GE invests $24m in giant Indian solar plant

BusinessGreen staff

Stake in Welspun Energy's 151MW Neemuch project is US company's first entry into Indian solar market

General Electric has invested $24m (£14m) in India's largest solar power plant, hailing the "incredible potential" for the technology across the country.

The investment by GE's financial services arm in Welspun Energy's 151MW plant marks the conglomerate's first foray into the Indian solar industry. The Neemuch project - one of the world's largest solar plants - powers 624,000 homes in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and mitigates an estimated 216,372 tons of carbon emissions annually, the company said.

GE Energy Financial Services has now ploughed more than $10bn into renewable energy across the globe, including $1.8bn in solar power commitments in seven countries. Last week, the company said it plans to invest more than $1bn a year in renewable projects targeting "very significant returns".

In the past three years India has gone from having virtually no solar power to becoming one of the world's largest solar markets and plans to attract $11.7bn of investment by 2017 to expand capacity sixfold and help meet a national goal of producing 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

"With its geography, strong economic growth and commitment from the highest levels of government, India has gained incredible potential for the development of solar power," said Raghuveer Kurada, business leader for India and South East Asia at GE Energy Financial Services. "Our investment in Welspun Renewables' solar project helps to realise that potential."

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