Aditya Birla Group to invest Rs 6k crore in solar power business
MUMBAI: The Aditya Birla group plans to invest Rs 6,000 crore
in solar power business over the next five years as demand
for clean energy rises exponentially. The government has set a target of
setting up 20 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022.
retail-to-telecom conglomerate has acquired a minority stake in a solar power
venture promoted by Electrotherm in Gujarat's solar park and struck a long-term
leasing agreement with Refex Energy in Rajasthan to operate a solar plant at
Bithuja in Rajasthan. These units have a capacity to produce 1.55 million units
of electricity per mw annually.
"We are getting
ready for a large-scale rollout as solar energy holds the potential to replace
the conventional sources of energy. It offers a great potential to scale
up," said Dev Bhattacharya, head, strategy, Aditya Birla group.
"We have set a
target of $1 billion over the next 5-6 years," he added. Essel Mining, the
unlisted firm owned by Aditya Birla group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, is in the process of setting up an
independent company as it seeks to develop a capacity of 100 mw over the next
18 months. The group has so far invested a little more than Rs 200 crore to
develop 20 mw capacities in solar power.
Ravi Khanna, who
joined from global renewable energy major Scandanavian Advanced Technology as
CEO of the solar power business, has devised a three-pronged strategy to
achieve the target in the first phase. The solar power venture will seek to
secure businesses by trading in renewable energy certificates, set up plants
which come under renewable power obligations and bid for projects offered under
the national solar mission.