Adani Group has commissioned a new solar power plant in Kutch(Gujarat) with a capacity of 40MW while venture capital backed Azure Power India Pvt Ltd also announced a new plant with capacity of 5MW in Rajasthan, to add to the nascent but bustling solar power generation sector in India.

Adani Enterprises disclosed that Adani Group has today commissioned the country's largest 40 MW solar power project at Kutch and marks the group’s first big foray in the renewable energy sector," a company statement said. Adani plans to expand the capacity of this plant to 100 MW.

The solar plant is using solar PV technology and has over 4,00,000 modules mounted on 21,600 structures, which are erected on 1,30,000 foundations. The power generated from this solar plant will be evacuated through a 66 KV line linked to a substation in Netra, located 20 km from the project site.

Adani Enterprises did not specifically say so but the group’s power ventures are housed under a separate public listed firm Adani Power that is primarily a thermal power project, at present. Adani Power is backed by private equity firm 3i.

In another development, Helion Venture Partners and Foundation Capital-backed solar power producer Azure Power has commissioned 5MW solar power plant at Kathauti village in Rajasthan.

The 5MW power plant is set up under the Phase I Batch I of the government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), supplying power to the Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd.  The plant is spread over 40 acres of wasteland with a 25 year off-take agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam, the company has said.

"With the commissioning of our third grid connected plant, we have now demonstrated engineering and construction capabilities in three different states in India,” Inderpreet Wadhwa, CEO and founder of Azure Power commented on commissioning the solar plant.

Last November, Azure Power received $13.6 million (Rs 68 crore) funding from Germany’s bilateral development finance institution DEG.

Prior to this the company had also raised an undisclosed amount from Helion Venture Partners and Foundation Capital in series A funding. The company also received undisclosed funding from IFC in 2010.

Although solar energy as an industry is seeing a consolidation globally, it is fast becoming a ‘sunrise’ sector in India and has attracted considerable interest from investors, as well as cross-border partnerships.

Most recently, private power player Tata Power Co Ltd signed a share purchase agreement with BP Alternative Energy Holdings Ltd to buy the latter’s 51 per cent equity and preference shares in the joint venture Tata BP Solar India Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

In another deal, solar projects developer SunBorne Energy joined hands with Europe-based IPP Eoxis Energy for executing a 15 MW solar photovoltaic project being built in Gujarat.

In June this year, IFC invested $4 million in Sapphire Industrial Infrastructures Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Moser Baer Clean Energy Ltd. Sapphire Industrial is constructing a 5 MW solar plant at Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu.

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