Zebasolar receives approval for 36 MW thin-film PV manufacturing plant in India

Two days after being awarded a 10 MW PV solar plant in the State Of Gujarat, Zebasolar Private Limited India has obtained a approval from CREDA, the Chattisgarh Renewable Energy Agency, to build a 36 MW thin-film PV manufacturing plant in the capital city of Raipur.

The New Jersey based company will integrate this project with the 100 MW solar farm agreement that Zebasolar Energy entered into early this month with CREDA.

Zebasolar intends to build the first phase of the Raipur plant in 2010 with 18 MW worth of capacity, launching Phase II for an additional 18 MW in 2012. The company will benefit from large subsidies granted by the State and Central government programs for constructing the project in a developing State which will be of up to 65% of the CAPEX.

Set to supply its own projects

Zebasolar’s thin-film plant will benefit from a captive supply agreement, since it has been allocated several projects to develop solar farms in the nearby State of Gujarat. The Gujarat PV Project involves an investment of €35 million by Zebasolar Private Limited India, an 85% owned subsidiary of Zebasolar Inc. USA. This plant will have an annual power production of 16.37 million kWh, and a franchised operation term of 25 years. This win, the first for Zebasolar in India, is on the heels of more than 500 MW of solar plant applications the company has made in various Indian states in early 2009.

Shahal Khan, President of Zebasolar Inc., stated: " We are pleased to have received this approval from the State of Chattisgarh for the construction of our plant, even though that market currently is very competitive in the module manufacturing sector, we believe with our captive allocation of solar farms in India and with the combination of the large subsidies given to us by the State and Central government, our cost per watt will be lower than $1, thus giving us a pricing advantage up and above any price available in the retail market. This integrated model will increase our IRR's by an additional 3%, since we have a revenue potential of over $150 million dollars in our captive solar farms in India".

The 36 MW thin-film PV manufacturing plant in Raipur will be fitted out with thin-film manufacturing equipment produced by Solar Thin Films, Inc. According to Robert Rubin, CEO of Solar Thin Films: "Having been selected by Zebasolar Inc. as the prime vendor represents a major milestone for our company. It is our first contract in India and affords us the ability to work together with a first class organisation such as Zebasolar. This agreement should lead to much increased visibility for the company in several other world markets".

Zebasolar has 300 MW of solar farm approvals pending in other Indian states which are to be allocated within the next 12 months, which will also become a supply source for the thin-film plant in the future.

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