Azure Power, a private equity-backed solar power producer, is planning an investment of $40 million in Gujarat for developing a 15 MW solar PV power plant. The investment is led by Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the United States Government. Other investors in the project include World Bank arm IFC, and venture capital firms Helion Advisors and Foundation Capital.

Azure Power has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Gujarat for the project expected to be commissioned by mid-2011. The New Delhi-based firm had partnered with SunEdison, North America’s largest solar energy services provider, for developing the power plant in Gujarat in May 2010.

Inderpreet Wadhwa, CEO of Azure Power, earlier told VCCircle that the company plans build up a capacity of 100 MW by 2013 which will require an investment $300-400 million. Azure Power has already operationalised India’s first private solar power plant in Awan, 40 km from Amritsar in Punjab, with 5 MW capacity in December 2009.

“The potential for solar energy in India is huge and the Azure Power project is a good example of US-India collaboration for the development of the solar energy sector. I am excited to see job creation in both India and the US through US investment and technology exports for the Azure Power project,” said Suresh Kumar, Assistant Secretary, US Department of Commerce.

“We are encouraging development of solar power in Gujarat and we expect to make Gujarat the hub of solar power development in India. We have set up a target of 1,000 Mw established solar power generation capacity by the end of 2012 and 3,000 Mw in next five years,” said D J Pandian, Gujarat Principal Secretary for Energy and Petrochemicals.

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