India inaugurates mega solar project

French officials and company leaders were on hand for the event and start of a push deeper into one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  March 12, 2018 at 9:30 AM
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March 12 (UPI) -- French energy company ENGIE said Monday it was expanding its presence in the renewable energy sector in India, one of the world's fastest growing economies.

French President Emmanuel Macron met Monday in the country with ENGIE CEO Isabelle Kocher and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the inauguration of the Mirzapur solar power plant, a 101 megawatt facility contracted to the French company in 2016.

ENGIE said it signed more solar and wind power projects with a combined capacity of 608 MW of peak capacity, with the majority coming from solar energy.

"All these projects are part of the Indian government's ambition to promote the development of renewable electricity and to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix," the French company explained.

A report from General Electric, which has operations in both renewable and conventional energy resources, said the Indian government has ambitious plans to boost oil and gas production, but has fallen short of its goals in the past. GE estimated that India could exhaust its proven resources within the next 25 years, but added that barely a quarter of the country's reserves have been explored.

In November, state-owned Indian Oil Corp. and online transportation network company Ola said they took a "big leap" toward a greener India with the launch of the country's first-ever electric vehicle charging station in Nagpur, the largest city of central India.

A party to the multilateral Paris climate agreement, India has set a goal of reducing its emissions by about 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

"This plant [Mirzapur] and the different successes we announce today support our ambition to be a major partner for the development of renewables in India, a fast-growing country for global energy transition businesses," ENGIE's CEO said in a statement.

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