In the midst of India's gloom over its credit crisis, the desert state of Rajasthan is taking a firm step toward wind. The Rajasthan State Power Corporation is setting up a 2 MW pilot project in Jaisalmer with assistance from the ministry of non-conventional energy sources (MNES). Eight turbines have been ordered from state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), to be delivered before August. Under the turnkey contract, BHEL will operate and maintain the plant for five years. MNES and the state government are each paying for about half of the $2 million in total costs. C.S. Rajan of the state power corporation hopes the success of the project will attract substantial investment in wind power. The government of Rajasthan, enthusiastic to get wind blowing in the state, has provided market incentives as well as land for the project in Amarsagar and Badagaon in the Jaisalmer district. In March, Rajasthan launched a promotion policy for renewables, beginning with a tax exemption on renewables generated power. Power can be bought by the Rajasthan State Electricity Board (SEB) at INR 2.75/kWh (EUR 0.06/kWh). Sale of the power to a third party is permitted, or the developer can use the power entirely for its own account. Banking with the SEB, or storing power for future use in periods of power shortages, is also permitted. In addition, developers will be entitled to all benefits available to new industrial units in Rajasthan.
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