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May 03, 2011

India 'Gets Heat' from Solar Investors, SunBorne and Suntech



SunBorne Energy Technologies, a leading specialist in utility scale solar solutions, and Suntech Power Holdings (News - Alert) Co., Ltd., the world's largest producer of solar panels, have entered into a framework agreement for the supply of 100 megawatts (MW) of solar panels over the next two years for projects in India.

Wuxi, China-based  Suntech announced on May 3 that it will supply 280 watts peak (Wp) polycrystalline silicon modules for projects that will be designed, installed, and commissioned by SunBorne , headquartered in New Delhi.  The agreement includes an initial order for 10MW of solar panels for a project in Gujarat, India.

The solar industry in India has been growing rapidly, backed by government support at both the federal and state levels. The national government has set a target of increasing renewable energy generation by 40 gigawatts (GW) by 2022, up from current capacity of 15 GW, itself a threefold increase since 2005.

In January 2009, the Energy and Petrochemicals Department of Gujarat—India’s westernmost state with a population of more than 50 million—issued a policy that advances “green and clean” power using solar energy. The Solar Power Policy-2009 is meant to promote Gujarat as India’s “Integrated Solar Generation Hub” by providing incentives for the installation of 500 megawatts (MW) of solar power generators (SPGs) by 2014.

The Energy and Petrochemicals Department said the policy would “leverage” Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects for industrialized countries seeking emission credits. Defined in Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, the CDM, enables a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment to implement an emission-reduction project in a developing country and earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted toward meeting Kyoto targets.

 Solar project developers receive half of the CDM credits from the project, sharing the other half with the power distributor. To date, a host of developers, including The Clinton Foundation, have been rumored to be in talks with Gujarat about development projects.  

As for the current developers, “We chose Suntech because of their clear technology leadership and long-term commitment to India,” said James Abraham, managing director &and CEO of SunBorne Energy. “We are proud to support the Gujarat government in their endeavor to bring clean power to India and attain energy security. “

“We're excited to partner with SunBorne Energy to drive solar industry growth in India,” said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s chairman and CEO. “Currently, one in three people in India lacks reliable access to electricity, and the rapid deployment of solar energy has the potential to help close this gap. This project will provide thousands of people in India with clean and affordable power.”

For more information on the Gujarat Solar Power Policy, visit the Energy and Petrochemicals Department site. 




Cheryl Kaften is an accomplished communicator who has written for consumer and corporate audiences. She has worked extensively for MasterCard (News - Alert) Worldwide, Philip Morris USA (Altria), and KPMG, and has consulted for Estee Lauder and the Philadelphia Inquirer Newspapers. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell


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