Week in India: 35 GW Out Of 100 GW Has Been Installed By India, Rajasthan Targets 30 GW of Solar Capacity, Gujarat Set to Amend its Net Metering Regulations and more

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Rajasthan Targets 30 GW of Solar Capacity by 2025 in its New Policy

Rajasthan has released its Solar Energy Policy, 2019, which aims to achieve a target of 30 GW of solar power by financial year (FY) 2024-25. Of this, utility or grid-scale solar parks will account for 24 GW, distributed generation is expected to account for 4 GW, the solar rooftop will total 1 GW, and solar pumps will make up the remaining 1 GW.The state has also unveiled its Wind and Hybrid Energy Policy, 2019, which aims to achieve 2 GW of wind power capacity to fulfill the renewable purchase obligation (RPO) by FY 2024-25 and 3.5 GW of hybrid power projects by FY 2024-25.

Gujarat Set to Amend its Net Metering Regulations for Rooftop Solar Systems

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) says it will start working on a draft amendment for net metering regulations, incorporating changes and suggestions presented in a petition by the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL). In its order, the GERC ordered its staff to initiate the drafting process following a petition by the GUVNL. The petition sought its approval for a rate of ₹2.25 (~$0.03)/kWh for the purchase of surplus power from solar rooftop projects by distribution licensees set up under the Surya Urja Rooftop Yojana (SURYA- Gujarat) program. In its petition, the GUVNL said that the requested tariff was necessary to maintain an equitable balance between projects set up exclusively for sale of power to distribution licensees and rooftop projects selling only surplus power. The state commission explained that since the latter take advantage of subsidies for capital cost from the state government, it would be unfair to compare it with projects which are set up to sell power to distribution licensees exclusively. The Commission also observed that setting up any rooftop solar system by consumers in the state would require net metering for energy accounting and the sale of surplus power. It added that to set rates for any consumer category, it would be necessary to amend regulations per the law. In conclusion, the commission stated that it would start working on a draft amendment and that it would invite objections and suggestions on the draft per the regulations and that all stakeholders will get an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft.

Bihar Reissues its 250 MW First Large-Scale Solar Tender at a Ceiling Tariff of Rs. 3.15/kWh

The Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA) has reissued its first large-scale solar tender with a revised ceiling tariff. In June 2019, Bihar had invited bids for setting up 250 MW of grid-connected ground-mounted solar projects in the state. This tender has now been reissued for the same capacity.Last month, the state commission had dismissed a petition regarding this tender without granting further time for the tariff negotiation.In September 2019, the commission had rejected another petition that requested the adoption of a tariff of Rs. 3.45 (~$0.049)/kWh and the regulatory approval for the procurement of 250 MW of solar power.This being the first solar tender for Bihar, the petitioner also requested the commission to look at factors like the requirement for RPO fulfillment, the paucity of land parcels, and limited solar potential of the state. Now, the reissued tender states that a ceiling tariff of Rs. 3.15 (~$0.04)/kWh would apply for the projects.The last date for the submission of bids is January 2, 2020, while the technical bid opening has been scheduled for January 3, 2020.The prospective bidders need to pay Rs. 400,000 (~$5,652)/MW as the earnest money deposit (EMD) and an amount of Rs. 1 million (~$14,097) as the performance bank guarantee (PBG). According to BREDA, the net worth of the bidder should be equal to or greater than the value calculated at the rate of Rs. 7 million (~$98,679)/MW.

Juniper Quotes Lowest Bid of Rs. 2.89/kWh to Win 150 MW in Maharashtra’s 500 MW Solar Auction

In the auction for 500 MW of solar projects conducted by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), Juniper Green Energy Pvt Ltd has emerged as the lowest bidder. Juniper Green won 150 MW of solar projects in the auction at a tariff of Rs. 2.89 ($0.0407)/kWh. The remaining 350 MW has been bagged by Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (MSPGCL) at a tariff of Rs.2.90 ($0.0409)/kWh through bucket filling method. It had bid for the entire capacity of 500 MW but has been awarded 350 MW.In November 2019, the state had issued a Request for Selection (RfS) for the long-term procurement of power from 500 MW of intra-state solar power project (Phase-IV). The MSEDCL had set a ceiling tariff of ₹2.90 (~$0.0409)kWh for the tender. The tender for these projects added that interested bidders must identify 100% of the land required for the project at the time of the submission of the bid. However, successful bidders would be allowed to change the location of the project within the state at the time of achievement of the financial closure. Developers had to achieve financial closure within nine months from the date of execution of the power purchase agreement (PPA) for projects set up in solar parks and within 12 months from the date of execution of the PPA, for projects set up outside the solar parks.

35 GW of Solar Installed, 65 GW More to go for India to Reach its 100 GW Solar Target

Total solar installations in India have crossed the 35 GW mark. The country has a goal of reaching 100 GW of solar capacity by the end of 2022. Out of the 35 GW, ~31 GW of large-scale solar projects were in operation as of November 2019, while 4.1 GW of rooftop solar installations were recorded as of September 2019. India needs to install at a rate of over 20 GW a year to reach 65 GW of solar capacity in the next three years. The Government of India (GoI) recently clarified that the target date for achieving the cumulative 175 GW renewable energy is now December 31, 2022.India’s solar installation had reached 30 GW in March 2019.On average, India needs ~21.7 GW of solar installations every year to reach the target of 100 GW of solar capacity by December 31, 2022. According to Mercom India Research, the breakdown of India’s solar installations shows that large-scale solar installations are halfway through with a cumulative capacity of 31 GW in-operation while 29 GW of projects still need to be developed to meet the target of 60 GW by December 2022. However, rooftop solar installations are far behind the target. Out of the set goal of 40 GW, only a cumulative capacity of 4 GW has been installed. 36 GW of rooftop needs to be installed to meet the target by December 2022.

India Donates Solar-Powered Lamps Palestinian Children

India has donated solar powered study lamps to Palestinian elementary school children from a marginalised Bedouin community to spread the principles of self-sufficiency and raise awareness towards the adverse effects of climate change.The lamps were donated as part of the 150th Gandhi Jayanti Students Solar Ambassador Workshop to internationally spread the principles of self-sufficiency and to raise awareness towards the adverse effects of climate change.The solar powered study lamps were supplied by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. Representative of India (ROI) in the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Sunil Kumar, visited the Governorate of Jericho and Jordan Valley on December 16 where he was received by Governor Jehad Abu Al-Asal, Director of the Jericho Directorate of Education, and representatives of the local community. As part of India’s outreach and cooperation programme in the local Palestinian community, Kumar visited the Ka’abneh Bedouin School with Palestinian dignitaries where he presented portable solar-powered lamps to the elementary school children. Addressing the students and the local community, he underlined India’s time-tested support to Palestine, especially highlighting New Delhi’s capacity building efforts with emphasis on the educational sector. The ROI also emphasised on the importance of renewable energy and solar power for the betterment of quality of life and how it helps in preserving the environment.

Skoda Auto Volkswagen To Install One Of India’s Largest Solar Panel Rooftops At Chakan Plant

Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVWPL) will be setting up one of the largest solar-power rooftop systems in India at its Chakan-based facility, the company has announced. The German auto giant has partnered with Amp Energy to install a total of 25,770 photovoltaic panels that will cover up to 15 per cent of the site’s annual electricity requirements. Amp Energy is a global company that develops flexible and clean energy infrastructure. The solar panels have a maximum output of 8.5 megawatts, and will dramatically help reduce the automaker’s dependency on non-renewable energy at the Chakan plant. Volkswagen Group says that it plans to go carbon-neutral at the Chakan plant by 2030. The photovoltaic system comprises 25,770 highly efficient polycrystalline panels that cover 63,000 sq.metres of roof space on the body shop complex. The installation will generate a total of 12.2 million kWh of energy per year and reduce CO2 emissions from the production plant to over 9000 tonnes annually. The set-up will also help reduce direct heat radiation in the workshop, according to the manufacturer.

Adani Green may buy rest of Essel’s 480-MW solar assets

After selling 205 megawatt (MW) of its operational solar energy portfolio to the Adani Group, the Essel has reached an agreement to sell the remaining 480 MW, currently under construction to Adani Green Energy, two people with direct knowledge of the development said. The Adani Group has agreed in principle to buy out the remaining portfolio, one of the people said. “Adani Green is big on renewable power and has over 5.5 GW of portfolio with almost half of it already operational. After acquiring Essel Group’s solar assets in Punjab, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, they have agreed to buy the remaining assets too, once Essel Group operationalises them,” he added. Adani Group had signed an agreement in August this year to acquire the 205 MW of operational solar assets for Rs 1,300 crore. Essel Group’s total solar energy portfolio consists of 685 MW of installed and under-construction projects. At the time of deal, Essel Group said it was also in talks to sell the remaining assets.

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