CHENNAI: Tata Group’s solar power arm is in final stages of negotiations with the Tamil Nadu government as it plans to set up a 4GW integrated solar photovoltaic cell manufacturing unit in Gangaikondan near Tirunelveli.
“The investment by Tata would be around Rs 3,000 crore with an employment potential of 2,000 locals, predominantly women,” highly placed officials in the Tamil Nadu government said. The investment commitment by Tata Group is viewed as “significant”, as it will help the state to showcase itself as an attractive solar power manufacturing location. It is also expected to boost investments to southern states which have not attracted too many till now.
The state is already home to Vikram Solar, which inaugurated its factory in July to make panels with 1.2GW capacity in Oragadam. US-based First Solar is breaking ground for its greenfield plant in Pillaipakkam near Chennai on Tuesday. First Solar is investing $684 million in a fully vertically integrated photovoltaic thin-film solar module manufacturing facility with a capacity of 3.3GW and is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2023.
Solar panel manufacturing is the next hot area for investment flows as the scramble for renewable energy, more specifically solar, gains momentum. More so with the Prime Minister committing to meet 50% of the country’s energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries would build four ‘Giga’ factories in Jamnagar to make solar photovoltaic cells, green hydrogen, batteries and fuel cells for Rs 60,000 crore. These manufacturing units will power Reliance’s dreams to build 100GW of solar energy generation capacity. Adani Group is also getting aggressive on the solar front with plans to manufacture photovoltaic cells for 3.5GW of solar power.