Soft loans in Rajasthan

The desert state of Rajasthan has declared a new soft loan package to encourage capital investment of US$104 million by the private sector for 100 MW of wind energy generation. Private investors have shown interest in a soft loan program, which Rajasthan has favoured instead of tax incentives. Investors taking advantage of the program will have three years to set up their projects, says Subhash Garg of the Rajasthan Energy Development Agency. The soft loan package is part of a broader amendment to the state's non conventional power promotion policy from March 1999. Meanwhile, some development continues in the state. Rajasthan State Power Corp Ltd (RSPC) is building a 2.25 MW wind project in Deogarh in the Chittaurgarh district. RSPC has signed a power purchase agreement with state utility Rajasthan State Electricity Board, which will buy the clean power at INR 2.89/kWh ($0.066/kWh), rising 5% every year. Indian wind turbine manufacturer Asian Wind Turbines will supply the machines. The $1.95 million project is jointly financed by RSPC and the Ministry of Non Conventional Energy Sources. RSPC has recently commissioned its first 2.25 MW pilot project at Amarsagar in Jaisalmer. The equipment was supplied by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, which will maintain and operate the wind farm for five years.

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