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Fortum boosts solar pipeline winning 250MW India project

The Finnish utility wins right to build a PV array in Rajasthan that is in line with its strategy to build a gigawatt-scale solar and wind capacity

Fortum in the latest Solar Energy Corporation (SEC) tender has won the right to build a 250MW solar array in the Indian state of Rajasthan, adding to a growing solar portfolio of the Finnish utility.

The solar park will be entitled to a fixed tariff of 2.48 Rupees ($0.035) per kilowatt hours for 25 years. Commissioning of the plant is expected in the fourth quarter of next year.

The array in Rajasthan will come on top of 185MW of solar capacity the utility already operates in India, and 35MW in Russia. Fortum in June 2018 had already won the right to build a first 250MW of solar in India which is currently under construction and will be commissioned in 2019, and has also 110MW of solar capacity under development in Russia.

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The company has the ambition to increase both its solar and wind portfolio to a multi-gigawatt scale.

The strategy is in line with a trend among European utilities to increase their solar pipelines as prices of panels have been falling fast globally and companies wish to diversify their renewables portfolios.

German utility EnBW, which last month said it will build a large (175MW) first subsidy-free solar array in Germany by the end of next year. Over the weekend, EnBW chief financial officer Thomas Kusterer told Germany's Börsenzeitung that solar energy has become more interesting next to wind as prices have "fallen drastically over the last few years."

EnBW according to Kusterer has already built up a solar project development pipeline of 800MW, on top of 100MW it already operates.

Rival Innogy in February has taken a final investment decision for a 57MW subsidy free PV array in Canada.

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