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Solar Open Access Additions Grow 22% in Jan-Mar; Cumulative Capacity Hits 5.7-GW Mark: Report

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The solar open access installations in India grew by 22 per cent to 513 megawatts (MW) in January-March 2022, according to a report by Mercom India.

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According to the latest report by the research company, the cumulative solar open access capacity in open-access markets was more than 5.7 GW as of March 2022.

Open access to solar power is an arrangement in which a power producer sets up a solar power station and then signs a medium/long-term power purchase agreement with consumer.

To further accelerate India’s renewable energy programs, the government on Tuesday notified the Green Open Access Rules 2022.

These rules will be notified to promote the purchase, generation, and consumption green energy, including waste-to-energy plants. The Ministry of Power stated that it allows for a simplified process to open access to green energy.

“In India, 513 MW of solar open access capacity was added in the quarter 2022 (January-March) – 58 per cent more than the 324 MW that was installed in Q4 2021. The YoY installations rose 22 percent compared with 422 MW in Q1 2020,” said the report titled “Mercom India Solar Open Access Market ReportQ1 2022”.

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As of March 2022, the cumulative installed solar capacity in the open-access market was over 5.7 GW, the report said, adding that over 2 GW capacity of open access solar projects was under development in the country during the said period.

The report shows that Karnataka was the top in additions, accounting for 30 per cent of all installations during the quarter. The streamlining of open access regulations, timely DISCOM approvals, early commissioning of projects, and increase in captive projects due to cost-saving benefits drove the open access segment in the state.

Maharashtra, with a 131 per cent QoQ increase in solar installations, has surpassed Tamil Nadu & Uttar Pradesh to become second-largest state for cumulative open access solar installations.

The top five states accounted for 86 per cent of all open-access installations in Q1 2022.

“Open access solar offers both climate mitigation and lower operating costs to industrial and commercial consumers. Developers are also tackling policy issues to ensure consumers get the best solar. “The green energy open-access rules may just break this logjam, and pave the path for the open-access market to explode,” Priya Sanjay, Mercom India’s Managing Director said.

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