The Asian Development Bank agreed to lend a further $103 million to a concentrated solar power project owned by Reliance Power Ltd. (RPWR) in India.
The Asian Development Bank approved a $48 million loan for Reliance’s 40-megawatt Dahanu photovoltaic solar energy project in December. That plant is being expanded to include a 100-megawatt concentrating solar thermal power farm, S. Chander, the ADB’s director-general of sustainable development, said today at a conference in Jodhpur in Rajasthan state.
Concentrated solar thermal technology harnesses sunlight to heat liquids that produce steam for generators; photovoltaic plants use panels to turn sunlight directly into power.
The concentrating solar thermal plant is expected to be completed in May 2013 and will cost about $415 million, according to Michael Barrow, a director at the ADB. It will be built adjacent to the photovoltaic plant, and the two will share a transmission line, he said.
Reliance earlier this month selected France’s Areva SA (AREVA) as its contractor to build as much as 250 megawatts of concentrated solar thermal capacity in India. The U.S. Export-Import Bank said on April 13 that it will provide Reliance with an $80.3 million loan to purchase technology from Areva’s U.S. unit and other suppliers.
Under the Government’s ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission that started in January 2010, India aims to have 2,000 MW of installed solar power generation capacity by 2013, which would be further increased to 10,000 MW by 2017 and to 20,000 MW by 2022.
Reliance Power was one of the successful bidders to develop 470 MW of concentrated solar power capacity under the first phase of the NSM.
The plant will be located near the village of Dhursar in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, which is around 180 km west of the city of Jodhpur. The site has one of the highest levels of direct sunlight in the country.
The plant is estimated to avoid more than 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, compared to the energy produced by a conventional fossil fuel plant. The project will share a transmission line with Reliance Power’s existing 40-MW Dahanu solar power plant which is also partly financed by the ADB.
ADB is supporting the development of solar energy in developing Asia as part of its goal of promoting environmentally sustainable economic growth. Under its Asia Solar Energy Initiative, announced in May 2010, ADB aims to commission or support 3,000 MW of solar power capacity in developing member countries by May 2013.