India, US sign pact on alternative energy
The Times of India News Service
NEW DELHI: India and the US on Thursday moved in a major way to collaborate in the power sector. While an accord on developing solar energy was signed between the two governments, a series of agreements was concluded between firms in both countries to set up conventional power projects in three states.
The accords on conventional power projects are for 330 MW Srinagar (Tehri) hydro project in Uttar Pradesh, 400 MW Maheshwar hydro project in Madhya Pradesh and 106 MW thermal project at Samayanallur in Tamil Nadu. The Indian firms involved are Power Finance Corporation for UP, S Kumar's for Maheshwar and the Balaji group for Tamil Nadu.
The solar agreement between America's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado, and the Indian government's Solar Energy Centre near Delhi covers various renewable energy programmes, including exchange of information and personnel. An earlier agreement between the two national laboratories ended last year. Under it, a rural electrification project for 600 families in Bengal's Sunderbans area, using solar energy, was implemented.
Since 1991, the Indian government has given ``techno-economic clearance'' to 57 conventional power-generation projects between Indian and US firms; 20 of these have US-based developers. Of these, four projects of total 1,364 MW capacity have been commissioned and eight more (3,215 MW) are being built. The projects commissioned are in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra (the controversial Dabhol) and Tamil Nadu.