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Web Exclusive | August 2013

Centre plans 4,000 mw solar thermal units in Rajasthan

The Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah has stated that the Ministry plans to set up 4,000 mw of solar thermal power plants in Rajasthan, thus making it the next hub for solar power in India. The Ministry has discussed the plan with the Rajasthan government and it is to set up a solar thermal unit near the Sambhar salt lake in Jaipur, Farooq Abdullah said. He described the proposed facility to become the largest solar thermal park in the world.

The Sambhar salt lake solar thermal power plant will be commissioned in phases. The first phase would be of 1,000 mw, Abdullah said. This would be the first such solar thermal power park in the country, he added. Now, the only solar park in the country is based in Gujarat with a current capaity of 214 mw and is expected to generate 500 mw when fully commissioned in 2014. The park however accomodated only solar photovoltaic facilities.

The Minister said that Rajasthan currently has 660 mw of solar power generation capacity and 2,700 mw of wind power. Solar thermal is currently used extensively in pilgrimages and temples like Akshardham, Delhi and Shirdi in Maharashtra as kitchen fuel.

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