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According to a senior government official, the government has decided not to accommodate previously qualified bidders, but to invite fresh bids for the Rs 19,500-crore production-linked incentive (PLI) plan for solar manufacturing with a minimum 90% localization condition.
To be qualified for PLI, it is recommended to require a minimum of 90% local value addition (LVA) and 22% module performance, the official stated. “In order to be considered for the bid, the applicant manufacturer must guarantee minimal integration among solar cells and modules.”
The PLI standards were changed after the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) obtained over 54.8 GW of proposals against a Rs 4,500 crore PLI sanction. Under the Union Budget 2022-23, the sum was raised to Rs19,500 crore.
Earlier, the government received 18 qualifying proposals in the original iteration of the plan and picked four bidders, Jindal India Solar Energy, Adani Infrastructure, Shirdi Sai Electricals, and Reliance New Energy. However, Jindal Indian Solar opted out later.
Others in the competition were Acme Solar, Coal India, Tata Power, ReNew Solar, Larsen & Toubro, and Vikram Solar.
At that time, the renewable energy ministry stated that if the PLI allotment increased, it would choose the remaining bids.
However, the earlier-mentioned official informed that it has now been decided to invite new bids because the bid circumstances have altered.
The official informed that the manufacturers who establish greater capacity factories would be given precedence. However, the applicant company must commit to establishing a production unit with a minimum capacity of 1,000 MW.
The scheme’s first phase involved the selection of bids based on three parameters: planned production capacity, and the performance efficiency of the modules.
Module production is divided into four stages: polysilicon, wafers, cells, and modules. There is no polysilicon or wafer production capability in India’s present 15 GW production capacity.
Under PLI, the highest capacity that could be given to a single bidder, including the capacity allocated in the original offer, was 10 GW polysilicon to modules and 6 GW wafers to modules.