International Finance Corporation helping with solar power project in Gandhinagar, Gujarat

Washington, Sep 21 (Calcutta Tube) The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is working on a public-private partnership deal with India’s Gujarat state to design and structure a distributed rooftop solar power project in Gandhinagar.

The pilot project for a 5-megawatt solar installation is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 6,000 tonnes a year and mobilise private sector investment, World Bank Group member IFC announced Tuesday.

The project, which includes the installation of rooftop solar panels that will eventually generate 40 megawatts of power for nearly 100,000 households in Gandhinagar, will also contribute to Gujarat’s goal of installing 500 megawatts of solar capacity by March 2014.

The project will be the first of its kind in India. Private sector responsibilities will include financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of the facilities, IFC said.

IFC’s Public-Private Partnership and Sustainable Business Advisory teams will work together to provide advice to the Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute for the design and structuring of the project. Following the pilot, the government will roll out the programme to the entire city.

‘We are happy to have the expertise and knowledge of an institution like IFC to help Gandhinagar become a model solar-powered city,’ said D. Jagdish Pandian, Principal Secretary, Energy and Petrochemicals of the government of Gujarat, and Chairman and Managing Trustee of the Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute, during the agreement signing ceremony here.

‘The project aligns with IFC’s efforts to create a sustainable solution linking government and private incentives. IFC is keen to support well-structured projects in this area, and we’re happy to offer advisory and investment support to Gujarat to help promote the solar energy sector,’ said Rashad Kaldany, IFC Vice President for Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East, and North Africa.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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