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A senior source said that the outstanding list of 15 solar manufacturers that participated in the initial bidding with a total commitment to put up 40 GW capacity for the production linked incentives (PLI) programme for solar is anticipated to be cleared within the next two months.
Earlier, 15 participants were placed on a waiting list with the promise to use their services whenever extra funding was made available to the plan.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declared on February 1 that an additional Rs 19,500 crore will be allocated under the programme to accommodate the remaining firms.
In December 2021, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) picked three businesses, Shirdi Sai Electricals, Reliance New Energy Solar, and Adani Infrastructure, with a commitment to construct up to 12 GW capacity against an initial grant of Rs 4,500 crore under the PLI plan.
Waaree Energies, Vikram Solar, Tata Power Solar, ReNew Solar, Emvee, Larsen & Toubro, Premier Energies, Megha Engineering, FS India Solar, Avaada, and Acme are among the other competing businesses.
The plan will be presented to the Cabinet for approval soon, and the letter of award will be distributed to the manufacturers on the bucket list, said the source. “It will take around two months to award the letters to all of the remaining bidders,”
In accordance with the industry sources, stakeholders are anticipating that the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) will accelerate the issuance of letters of award to the remaining 15 businesses because several of them have already bought the property, have begun land development work and have completed the basic structure.
CMD of Waaree Energies, which had applied for 4GW capacity under PLI, Hitesh Doshi, expressed that it will take up to 12-18 months in commissioning the plants once the bidders receive the confirmation.
Tata Power, which has applied for a total capacity of 8GW under the PLI plan, including 4GW each for cell and module manufacture, echoed the same thoughts. According to reports, they want to start with cell and module integration and wait for the industry to mature before expanding into wafer and polysilicon manufacture.
Officials also predict that the PLI assistance will enable the whole domestic raw material value chain, including glass, backsheet, aluminium, and Polysilicon to flourish, producing massive employment and R&D.
Although PLI is a welcome move to incentivize Indian manufacturers, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms argue that imposing a 40% basic custom duty (BCD) in a single go is a harsh measure, as Indian manufacturers can only fulfil 25% of demand at this time.