French energy company Engie has commissioned a 200 MW AC (290 MWp) solar power project in the Indian State of Gujarat. The 380-hectare plant is located inside the Raghanesda Solar Park, developed by Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL). It is expected to generate close to 546 gigawatt-hours of electricity, helping to offset 387,056 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Engie had won this project in an auction by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL). The project benefits from a 25-year power purchase agreement signed with GUVNL in August 2019. Gujarat Power Corporation Limited signed the Implementation Support Agreement in October 2019.
With this addition, Engie now has over 1.1 GWp of solar PV and 280 MW of wind power plants deployed in India across 17 projects.
Engie implemented the project through its special-purpose vehicle Electro Solaire Private Limited (ESPL). French multinational investment bank Societe Generale, alongside the Asian Development Bank (ADB), funded the project with long-term debt.
The plant utilizes PV modules from JinkoSolar and Longi Solar and string inverters from Huawei. Sterling & Wilson was the balance-of-plant contractor. It will also provide operation and maintenance support to the project for a period of five years.
“The project was completed in 14 months, adhering to the environment standard of ADB Safeguard Principle and Equator Principle, with 1.5 million+ safe man-hours by over 800 skilled and unskilled manpower setting up the plant,” read an Engie statement.
The Engie team was able to complete the project as scheduled despite the execution challenges posed by the Covid pandemic, a very high-water table at the site creating a challenging design and implementation issue for the module mounting structures, and the project being situated in a seismic zone.
Speaking about the project, Neerav Nanavaty, country manager, Engie India, said, “After overcoming several challenges at the site, the team is excited to announce the commissioning of this marquee project that is sure to boost the dynamic Indian solar industry and contribute towards decarbonizing India’s energy mix. We would like to thank all the public and private sector stakeholders and the local communities for their support and cooperation in helping us achieve this critical milestone in our renewable growth journey in India.”
Suresh Bhaskar, managing director Renewables – Middle East, Egypt & India, Engie Asia Middle East and Africa, said, “Engie is fully committed to play an active role to support India in achieving its ambitious clean energy goals for 2030. Successful commercial operation of this project is a testament to Engie’s continued interest to pursue renewable opportunities in India and further grow its renewable portfolio of more than 1 GW installed capacity in the country.”
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