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Suzlon to develop up to 1500 MW of wind projects in Gujarat

Work is expected to start early next year on the development of up to 1500 MW of wind projects in the Kutch-Saurashtra region in the west Indian state of Gujarat. Suzlon Gujarat Wind Park Ltd (SGWPL), a subsidiary of Indian wind giant Suzlon Energy, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government to develop the projects. Potential sites for development have already been identified. SGWPL will act as developer for the projects and provide "single-window solutions" to customers investing in them, assisting them to secure permits and regulatory clearances, land, basic services and infrastructure. "For Suzlon it is part of normal operating working capital and will not result in any incremental capital outlay," the company says. The MoU is based on what Suzlon describes as "the friendly investment climate for the wind sector" created by the recent amendment of Gujarat's wind market law from 2007. Purchase rates for wind have been increased from INR 3.37/kWh ($0.068/kWh) to INR 3.50/kWh ($0.071/kWh). In addition, licensed operators of the distribution grid are now legally obliged to buy at least 10% of the electricity generated by wind plant each year, up from 2% previously. According to the Gujarat Energy Development Authority, wind potential in the state amounts to 7000-8000 MW.

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