Week in India: SECI extends deadline for 2 tenders, Imported solar cells exempted from government benefits and more

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SECI to extend deadline for 2 more Solar Energy tenders

SECI has extended the bid submission deadlines for two tenders of solar energy, one of them is the 7 GW manufacturing linked solar tender and the other tender for the development of 1.95 MW solar capacity with 2.15 MWh storage projects in Lakshadweep. According to the amendments made by SECI the manufacturing linked tender’s deadline has been shifted to 13th November from 8th November, 2019. The techno-commercial bids will now be opened on the same date i.e. November 14, 2019. However, for the second tender the deadline for the bids has been extended from November 8th 2019 to 25th November 2019.

India to take actions to disqualify imported solar cells from reaping benefits under government schemes

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the body which governs the renewable energy development in India, has said that solar cells used in panels will be deemed as domestically manufactured only if they are made in India with undiffused silicon wafers or black wafers. It said that, these actions have been taken to safeguard domestic manufacturers and to promote the local solar manufacturing sector. In order to qualify for the MNRE scheme benefits, manufacturers have to demonstrate that they have used domestically manufactured solar PV Cells. The decision to rely on domestically produced goods is intended to reduce the country’s reliance on imported modules while helping to encourage a domestic manufacturing ecosystem to flourish.

Regulator was requested by Maharashtra Minister to discard Draft Regulations on Net Metering

Maharashtra’s energy minister requested the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission, to discard the proposed draft regulations on rolling back net-metering in the state and continue with the previous regulations until the state’s target of 4.7 MW of renewable energy installations is achieved. According to the draft regulations it states that the state of Maharashtra can go back to gross metering thus rolling back net metering for all segments except residential. According to the minister, the draft regulations will undermine the progress of Maharashtra and discourage the use of solar energy, and “costly electricity” will increase the prices of all products.

Goa’s traditional roof tiles to be replaced with special Solar Tiles

Nilesh Cabral, Goa’s Power Minister said on November 6 that the traditional clay roof tiles also known as the Manglorean tiles should be replaced with the special solar tiles. He also said that his ministry will be implementing the Renewable Energy Service Company model soon for solar power generation. In this process, the roof space is utilized for the outfitting of solar panels that help generate cheaper power for people. The Power Minister said private vendors will be roped in by the Government for the installation of the solar tiles. This will reduce the consumption of conventional energy up to 30-40 per cent in the state he said.  He also stated that twenty percent of the electricity that will be saved will be paid to the vendors for the installation of the solar panels.

Fire Stations in Odisha to go Solar

Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency is tendering grid-connected installations of Indian solar panels for 313 fire stations. As per the bid document, cumulative generation capacity of 1,727.69 kWp will be installed at a cost of Rs17.95 crore. The contract of the fire stations have been bundled into five packages and the scope of work includes design, supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance for five years under net metering and with battery storage back-up. As of now there is no submission date announced yet for the bid. The installation must feature India – made solar modules. The solar panels should qualify for the latest edition of the International Elecrtotechnical Commission PV module qualification or the equivalent Bureau of Indian Standards Certification. Bidders must be either companies registered in Odisha under the Indian Companies Act 1956, partnership firms registered under the Indian Partnership Act 1932 or sole proprietorship firms with GST registration. The selected developers should also have experience in installing 60% of the capacity they are bidding for in rooftop solar projects over the last seven years and 40% of the capacity volume in solar pumping systems, street lighting or village electrification.

Pune has stolen a march over other cities in India’s rooftop solar energy race

Pune, a non-metropolitan city in the west of India has evolved as the winner in rooftop solar energy. The city which is known to be the second largest city in Maharashtra, has left behind Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai with its 130 megawatts of rooftop solar power generation capacity. Commercial and industrial buildings form the bulk of the demand for rooftop solar panels. Indian states charge these customers much higher rates for electricity than households, which acts as a push for them to invest in solar panels and generate their own power. India currently has a total installed capacity of 2.24 gigawatts (GW) grid-connected rooftop solar panels, well short of the 2022 target of 40GW that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had set in 2015.

SunAlpha Energy an EPC provider launched easy EMI for solar rooftop

The Rajasthan-based EPC provider, SunAlpha has launched easy EMI to encourage the use of solar rooftop at homes and small businesses. The company aims to enable 1000 homes and businesses with rooftop plants during the initial launch of this scheme. The clients of SunAlpha will have the choice to select from 12, 18, 24, and 36 months of EMI for the finance facility. The customers will need to submit documents like the financials of the company, loan sanction letters, bank statements, monthly sales figures and list of shareholders and directors along with the standard KYC documents. To make this process faster SunAlpha has hastened the process of sanction to within 72-96 hours of receiving all documents. It will also provide with EPC services along with the maintenance to industrial, commercial and residential consumers across India and abroad.  

Vikarm Solar in plans of doubling the PV module manufacturing capacity

Vikram Solar, a Kolkata based leading manufacturer of solar PV modules and an integrated solar solutions provider in the country, which is plans to to double its capacity. Currently, Vikram solar has the capacity to manufacture 1.1 GW of PV modules, is in plans to increase its manufacturing by 1 GW. The company has not yet decided on when to start with the manufacturing because business environment and investor sentiments currently are not favourable to add capacities. The company will add the capacity once India establishes proper solar policies considering the Government’s plans to take solar capacity in the country from 100 GW to 450 GW in the long term and the huge potential the industry has in the coming years. Amit Gupta, the director of Vikram Solar also quoted that the estimated investment to double its manufacturing facility will be Rs. 1,400 crore.  The current manufacturing capacity has a utilization of over 80 percent.

India may not achieve its 2022 Clean Energy Target

India’s solar installed capacity has increased six times up to nearly 83 GW. According to Narendra Modi’s government target of 175 GW capacity of Clean Energy. Out of this 100 GW was to be dedicated for solar energy, 60 GW was dedicated for wind projects and the remaining for small hydel and biomass plants. However, with the series of issues related to tariff caps, land acquisition and import duty on solar cells and modules slowed the pace of solar capacity addition. It seems almost certain India will fall short of its target, as delays in payments by utilities, Andhra Pradesh’s decision to renegotiate tariffs of solar and wind projects and a liquidity crunch caused by problems in the shadow-banking sector have plunged the clean energy sector into its worst crisis in recent years. CRISIL, reported that India won’t be able to meet its target even by 2024 because of the persisting issues.

Delegation of the International Solar Alliance Visited the Delhi Metro

The ISA delegation which also includes the ministers is currently happening in Delhi. ISA was launched in the year 2015, in order to bring all the countries together lying between Tropic of Cancer and Capricon, fully or partially, to one international platform. ISA has about 121 prospective countries with 79 signatory member countries.  It is the first international body to have a secretariat in India, located at Gurugram in Haryana. The first assembly of ISA was held in New Delhi on 2nd October, 2018 and the second assembly is presently being held in the national capital. Mangu Singh, MD, DMRC, had highlighted that Delhi is meeting 35 per cent of its total energy requirement (of approximately 1,100 million units) from renewable sources and is one of the greenest metro systems in the world. The DMRC was commended by ISA’s Director General, Upendra Tripathy for the achievement in enhancing the use of solar energy and quoted that the metro rail operator has set an example for the other organisations to follow.

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