August 01, 2011

Tata BP Solar installs first solar power project in co-operative sector

Bengaluru: Tata BP Solar, a joint venture of Tata Power and BP Solar, has lived up to its reputation as the pioneer and market leader in India, and is the first company to have installed and commissioned a megawatt scale solar power plant in the cooperative sector under the Rooftop and Other Small Solar Power Generation Plant scheme administered by IREDA under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

This milestone project is owned and developed by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana (BASSKL), Arvindnagar, Osmanabad, Maharashtra. The one-megawatt plant was inaugurated on July 31, 2011, by Farooq Abdullah, union minister for new and renewable energy, in the presence of Ajit Pawar, deputy chief minister, Maharasthra, and other luminaries. RV Shinde, managing director, BASSKL, and AJ Gore, founder chairman, BASSKL, were present.

Commenting on this momentous occasion, K Subramanya, CEO, Tata BP Solar, said: “This one-megawatt project is another important milestone towards achieving the solar mission goal of India. The Tata BP Solar team as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor worked hard and in tandem with the BASSKL team to put up a state-of-the-art solar power plant.”

This project uses 4,400 crystalline silicon modules of 230 watts each, spread out over an area of 4.5 acres. These modules will generate electric current when solar radiation falls on them. This direct current (DC) electricity will be converted to alternating current (AC) using solar inverters, and energy is exported to Maharashtra State Electricity Board through a compact substation. The solar power plant will generate 1.56 million units of electricity per year. Tata BP Solar has also taken the contract to provide the operation and maintenance services to the plant for the first 10 years after commissioning. The plant is designed to run for 25 years and the crystalline silicon modules manufactured and supplied by Tata BP Solar are guaranteed to perform for this period of 25 years with minimal degradation in the power output over the long lifetime.

Tata BP Solar has been able to secure a number of EPC contracts in the IREDA-run scheme and is currently executing around 15 such projects in different parts of India, including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.

The JNNSM is a flagship project of the Indian government to mainstream the use of solar energy and has galvanised the industry by setting out an ambitious target of installing 20,000MW of grid-connected solar power generation capacity by 2022 in addition to 2,000MW of off-grid solar power. Out of this, 1,100MW grid-connected solar power capacity is to be installed in the first phase ending in March 2013. Nearly 800MW of this has already been allocated and is currently under execution.