Week in Brief: MNRE to Set Up a Renewable Energy Standardization Cell to Ensure Quality Standards, SECI’s Solar Tender of 1.2 GW Oversubscribed by 2.3GW, At 7.3 GW, India’s Solar Installations in 2019 Declined by 12% and More

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MNRE to Set Up a Renewable Energy Standardization Cell to Ensure Quality Standards

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has decided to set up a Renewable Energy Standardization Cell (RESC). The objectives of the cell are to identify the areas in renewable energy where standards need to be developed and identify international standards such as International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for applications in Indian climatic conditions. In case of any modifications, they should be first done and tried in test laboratories for revision suitable for the country’s climatic conditions. The MNRE also states that another objective is to initiate the process of developing standards involving experts from research and development (R&D) institutions, test labs, and industry.

SECI’s Solar Tender of 1.2 GW Oversubscribed by 2.3GW

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has announced the list of participants for its tender for 1.2 GW of solar projects. In January 2020, SECI had issued a detailed request for selection documents to set up 1,200 MW of interstate transmission system (ISTS) connected solar projects. Though the tender was announced in December 2019, the details were made available only in January. The list of participants includes ReNew Power, Softbank, Avaada, O2 Power, Brookefield, Eden, Tata, Ayana, and IB Solar. The tender was floated for 1.2 GW but was oversubscribed by 2.3 GW. ReNew Power and Softbank bid for 600 MWs each, whereas Avaada bid for 500 MW and the remaining six companies bid for 300 MW each, totaling 1.8 GW.

At 7.3 GW, India’s Solar Installations in 2019 Declined by 12%

India installed 7,346 MW of solar capacity in the calendar year (CY) 2019, a 12% decline year-over-year (YoY), compared to 8,338 MW in 2018, according to Mercom India Research’s newly released Q4 & Annual 2019 India Solar Market Update. Large-scale solar projects accounted for 85% of installations with 6,242 MW  (7% YoY decline) and rooftop solar made up the remaining 15%, adding 1,104 MW (33% YoY decline). By the end of 2019, the cumulative solar installations reached almost 35.7 GW. Large-scale projects accounted for 31.3 GW (87.6%), whereas rooftop solar installations accounted for 4.4 GW (12.4%).

Gujarat May Charge ₹0.5 Million/MW for Solar Projects to Build Evacuation Facility

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has invited public opinion on a draft paper discussing issues in establishing tariff for solar power procurement by distribution licensees. The last date for sending comments and suggestions is March 4, 2020. The Commission has released the discussion paper for feedback to initiate the regulatory process for setting the solar power procurement tariff for the financial year.

Odisha Floats Tender for Supply of 10 Solar Cold Storage Units

The Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) has invited interested bidders to install ten solar cold storage units. The quantity can be further increased depending on the agency’s requirements. The last date for the submission of bids is March 11, 2020, while the opening of techno-commercial bids has been scheduled for March 13, 2020. The estimated cost of the project is ₹15 million (~$210,101). Prospective bidders need to submit a sum of ₹150,000 (~$2,101) as the earnest money deposit (EMD).

NIWE Announces Tender to Assess Wind and Solar Resources in India

The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) has invited tenders for sensors and data loggers with accessories to assess wind and solar resources across the country. The scope of work includes the supply and delivery of anemometers, wind vanes, temperature sensors with a radiation shield, pressure sensors, precipitation sensors or rain monitors, pyranometers, and data loggers with a communication device with spare 32 Megabyte (MB) memory cards.

Tamil Nadu Lays Out Details for Procuring Solar Power by Distribution Licensees

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has issued a consultative paper for procuring solar power by distribution licensees and has asked all the stakeholders to submit their comments and suggestions by March 13, 2020. The report states that the total capacity of renewable power in the state is 14.14 GW. According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, the state has nearly 3.6 GW of large-scale solar installations while 208 MW are in the development pipeline.

Kerala Orders DISCOMs to Give Net Metering to Prosumers on a First Come, First Serve Basis

The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) has issued new regulations called the ‘Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (Renewable Energy and Net Metering) Regulations, 2020’ in which the state has directed the distribution licensees to constitute an in-house renewable energy cell to promote renewable deployment in the state within one month. As reported by a news wire in September 2019, the KSERC had issued a draft of net metering regulations for renewable systems and had called for a public hearing and suggestions. The new regulation says that the state will also penalize distribution licensees if they cannot stick to the timelines prescribed by the Commission. In case of failure to meet timelines prescribed under these regulations, a penalty of ₹1,000 ($14)/day for each day of delay will be imposed. The penalty accrued during the year will be deducted from the return on equity of the distribution licensee for that year.

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