The new renewable energy project was announced during the Vibrant Gujarat 2011 Summit, an event that organizers have dubbed “Davos in Action,” a nod to the just-concluded World Economic Forum.
Construction is expected to begin later this year, although no firm date has been announced regarding the commencement of work by the two companies.
The agreement was signed by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Saurabhbhai Patel, Gujarat’s Minister of State and leading business figure heads and dignitaries from over 70 countries looked on.
Atlantis, an international developer of tidal current turbines which recently revealed plans to develop one of the world’s largest marine power projects in the United Kingdom, has already conducted an economic and technical study of prime sites in the Gulf of Kutch where as much as 300 MW of economically extractable tidal power resource was discovered.
The company will also conduct investigations into the ability to combine the offshore wind resource in the Gulf with the proven tidal current resource in the hope that the project can eventually be scaled up to 200 MW of installed capacity.
“This is not only exciting for Gujarat and India – this is a land mark project for Asia,” said Atlantis Resources CEO Tim Cornelius. “Chief Minister Modi has once again demonstrated his commitment to using clean, renewable sources of energy generation as a source of economic stimulus and job creation.
“We are honoured and excited to be partnering with GPCL on such an important and historic project,” Cornelius continued. “We must also recognise the support and vision of the Honourable Minister of State, Mr Saurabhbhai Patel, for his commitment to the support of renewable energy technologies in the state of Gujarat.”
Gujarat officials said the project will require hundreds of millions of dollars of investment ni tidal turbines, associated power export infrastructure and the development of a local supply chain and will lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs in the region.
“Gujarat has significant resource in the waters of its coast, so tidal energy represents a huge opportunity for us,” said D.J. Pandian, Chairman and Managing Director of Gujarat Power Corporation Limited.
“This project will be India’s and indeed Asia’s first at commercial scale and will deliver important economic and environmental benefits for the region, as well as paving the way for similar developments within Gujarat,” Pandian said.
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