French group Areva to build big Indian solar power plant

The French energy group Areva said Wednesday that it would build the biggest concentrated solar power installation in Asia for Reliance Power of India.

Areva Solar is to construct two plants using compact linear fresnel reflector (CLFR) technology that would produce 250 megawatts (MW) of electricity in Rajasthan, northwestern India, a statement said.

That would provide energy for around 300,000 people in Europe according to a sector estimation.

CLFR technology uses reflected sunlight to heat liquid-filled tubes which generate high-pressure steam that produces electricity via turbines.

Financial details were not disclosed, but the statement said the installation "will become the largest in all of Asia" and would contribute to an Indian goal of adding 20,000 MW of solar energy capacity by 2022.

The project, which has already begun its first phase would represent a reduction of around 557,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually compared with a coal-fired plant, Areva added.

It set a target date of May 2013 for the operational launch of the first plant.

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