• Avaada Energy’s SPV Avaada MHBuldhana has attracted 5.2% equity interest from Bharti Airtel Ltd.
  • Judicial Preview Committee approves Andhra Pradesh’s 10 GW solar power scheme for agricultural purposes
  • Jai Bhawani Women’s Cooperative Textile Mill in Parbhani district of Maharashtra is set to be the ‘1st solar powered textile mill in Asia’, according to local media reports
  • MNRE has issued a concept note for the development of wind parks/wind-solar hybrid parks for stakeholder consultation
  • Ind-Ra believes clean energy transition and limited interest from global lending agencies are factors that elicited restrained interest from bidders in the country’s 1st commercial coal mining auction

Airtel invests in Avaada SPV: Indian multinational telecommunications services provider Bharti Airtel Ltd.  has acquired a 5.2% equity stake in Avaada MHBuldhana Private Limited, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) of Avaada Energy Private Limited (AEPL). The SPV was formed to own and operate a captive solar power plant in Maharashtra set to become operational by March 2021. In AEPL, there are several other international firms that own a stake like the Asian Development Bank (ADB), France’s Proparco, DEG of Germany among others.

Andhra Pradesh’s 10 GW solar plans approved: The judicial preview committee in Andhra Pradesh has cleared 10 GW solar energy plan of the state government power generated from which will be supplied to state’s farmers, reported The Economic Times (ET). With this green signal, the state government now plans to issue tenders for this capacity in a phased manner. All projects under the scheme will be developed under a build-operate-transfer (BoT) model, the report stated. The project was announced by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy led state government in June 2020 and the government was said to be expediting efforts to launch the tender (see India’s Andhra Pradesh To Float 10 GW Solar Tender).

Solar powered textile mill: The ‘1st solar powered textile mill in Asia’ is planned to come up in Parbhani district of Maharashtra, reported local media. The Jai Bhawani Women’s Cooperative Textile Mill will use solar power to process cotton to cloth. The mill itself is yet to become operational.

MNRE draft for wind & wind-solar hybrid parks: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a Concept Note for the Development of Wind Parks/Wind-Solar Hybrid Park for consultation from stakeholders. Through this proposed policy, it aims to overcome challenges for and to speed up installation of wind power projects where a hybrid model combining solar park can also be explored. Probable sites for the development of such projects have been identified and the list of these will be shared with concerned state governments for their consent on the development of the park. It estimates 53,945 MW clean energy capacity potential to be realized under the scheme going by the identified sites in the states of Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Last date to receive submissions is November 28, 2020. The detailed concept note is available on the MNRE website. India already has a National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy with storage (see India Amends Hybrid Wind Solar Policy).

Clean energy transition impacting commercial mining: India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra) believes the Indian government’s ‘a step in the right direction’ in terms of opening up domestic commercial coal mining for the private sector has come at a not so opportune time. In a world transitioning away from fossil fuels to clean energy sources the government had to experience subdued interest from the private sector for the 1st round of a commercial coal mine auction. A total of 19 mines were allocated to bidders, out of 38 up for auction, to generate an estimated annual amount of 51 million tons (MT) of coal. Foreign players did not participate at all in the auction even though there was 100% foreign direct investment allowed. Participation from international players is likely to remain weak even in the future, as per Ind-Ra analysts, as several large global lending institutions have pledged to reduce their exposure to fossil fuel lending by 2030 as part of the global energy sector increasingly transitioning towards cleaner sources.