The Tata Group’s solar arm is in the final stages of negotiations with the state government of Tamil Nadu as it plans to set up 4 gigawatts (GW) of an integrated photovoltaic manufacturing unit in Gangakundan near Tirunelveli.
In this project, Tata’s investment will be around Rs 3,000 crore with the potential to employ 2,000 local residents, mostly women.
The investment commitment by the Tata Group is seen as “significant”, as it will help the country project itself as an attractive location for solar energy manufacturing. It is also expected to boost investments in southern states, which have not yet attracted much.
Vikram Solar already has a presence in the state, with its 1.2 GW plant to manufacture the panels in Uragadam. US-based First Solar is also laying the foundation stone for its new plant in Pillaipakkam near Chennai soon. First Solar is investing $684 million in a 3.3 GW fully vertically integrated thin-film photovoltaic module manufacturing facility expected to begin operations in the second half of 2023.
Solar panel manufacturing has been attracting significant investment flows as the scramble for renewable energy, more specifically solar, is gaining momentum. Especially given the government’s agenda of meeting 50 percent of the country’s energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030. Reliance Industries, led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, will build four ‘GIGA’ plants in Jamnagar to make solar photovoltaics, green hydrogen, batteries and fuel cells for Rs 60,000 crore. These manufacturing units will advance Reliance’s dreams of building 100 GW of solar generation capacity. The Adani Group has also become aggressive on the solar front with plans to manufacture photovoltaic cells for 3.5 GW of solar power.