Indian companies, including Reliance Industries Limited (Reliance), Essar group, ADAG group, Tata Power, Indiabulls Power Services Limited, Suryachakra and Euro group, plans to invest INR100-120 billion in the solar sector at the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2009 which would generate over 1,000 MW of solar power. All these companies have lined up proposals in photovoltaic, thermal and hybrid solar projects to the state government.

The state has sought the expertise of US-based John Byrne, a Nobel Laureate, to help chart the state’s solar roadmap. Earlier, Chief Minister Narendra Modi said that the government will increase its focus on the alternate energy sector, especially in solar energy.

The government has announced that a separate policy called ‘Gujarat Solar Policy’ to give boost to the players will be out shortly along with a separate tariff.

Gujarat has been the first state wherein the country’s first power project proposals by Reliance and Euro group have been approved by the Centre.

Tata Power has started trial runs in Kutch district and plans to set up a 200 megawatt (MW) project in the state. A senior government official said that they had received interest from various companies that could generate about 1,000 MW of power. “Even if we can translate 700 MW into a reality in next two to three years, it will be a big achievement,” the official said.

Earlier in 2008, US based Clinton Foundation had also shown interest in setting up an integrated solar city in the state with a total capacity to generate a whopping 5,000 MW, the world’s largest solar plant project. This project alone is capable of drawing investment to the tune of INR250-300 billion.

However, senior officials close to the development remained tightlipped about the status of the project.

Euro group has announced its plans to set up 100 MW project in Kutch while Essar is aiming to set up 50 MW project in Jamnagar that can run on gas and solar. Reliance is aiming a mega project in Jamnagar for which it has got letter of intent from state government for 5 mw. Indiabulls has meanwhile proposed 150 MW of photovoltaic (PV) cells unit in the state, according to sources close to the development.