Former President Bill Clinton’s foundation is reportedly working on developing a 5-gigawatt solar park in India.
The Clinton Foundation is discussing the project – which would cost about Rs 20,000-crore ($4.76 billion) – with the state government of Gujarat, Business Standard, an Indian business daily, reported Friday.
The “Integrated Solar City” would not only generate electricity, but it would also include facilities to manufacture solar-power components.
Clinton has long been a supporter of solar energy. He visited Ethiopia this summer on behalf of the Solar Energy Foundation, a German charity that has put 1,100 solar panels on the homes of 5,500 people in Rema Village.
The Clinton Foundation launched the “Clinton Climate Initiative” in 2006 to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions via renewable energy and other projects. His foundation, in New York City, didn’t return a request for more information about the India project Friday.
If the 5-gigawatt project comes to fruition, it would be one of by far the world's largest solar power projects today.
The foundation hasn’t disclosed what type of solar technology it would use for the project.
Solar-thermal technology, which uses the sun’s heat instead of its light to produce electricity, is being used for most of the world’s largest solar projects today.
A number of large solar-thermal projects are under development in Spain. In Southern California, BrightSource has deals with Pacific Gas and Electric to build 900 megawatts worth of solar-thermal power plants, starting with a 100-megawatt facility in the town of Ivanph (see Solar Roundup: Another Tax-Credit Proposal, Big Deals for Solar-Thermal and Thin-Film).
PG&E also signed a deal to buy power from Solel, which is developing a 533-megawatt plant in the Mojave Desert (see Solel Heats Up with $140M Solar Plant).
The Gujarat government has enlisted John Byrne, an American professor who contributed to the 2007 climate change report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also known as the IPCC, to help create a solar-energy master plan for the state. Bryne is the director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Delaware.
IPCC, along with former Vice President Al Gore, won the Nobel Peace Prize last year.