New computer simulation software for design optimization of solar thermal power plants was launched by Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy Shri Deepak Gupta in New Delhi today. The software is equipped to handle user defined configurations and carrying out optimization through multiple simulation approach under Indian climatic conditions. It will be useful to various stakeholders for design optimisation of solar thermal power plants. The software was developed as part of the R&D project titled “A megawatt-scale national solar thermal power research facility” sanctioned by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy to IIT Bombay in 2009 with total project cost of over Rs 40.0 crore for a duration of 5 years. The project aims at to establish a solar thermal power test facility at Solar Energy Centre of the Ministry. IIT Bombay is implementing the project in a consortium mode with the participation of several industries including Tata Power, Tata Consulting Engineers, Larsen and Toubro, Heavy water Board and Clique Development Industries. This facility is one of its kind in whole Asia, and when commissioned, will be used for hands on training of the Indian solar thermal power plant developers. The software will be available through web for use and feedback for its further refinement. It is planned to have advanced versions of the software after incorporating suggestions and feedback received, and to make it more user friendly. This is a major step forward to develop capacities in the field of solar energy in the country, which would ultimately contribute, to achieving targets of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).