- India has appointed IREDA as the implementing agency for the PLI scheme for solar PV manufacturing
- Companies that offer to build higher capacities will be given preference, according to the detailed guidelines released by MNRE
- It aims to select at least 3 companies under the INR 45 billion scheme, and PLI will be given on actual production and sales of high efficiency modules by the selected units
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in India has offered detailed guidelines for the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme dubbed as National Programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules. In early April 2021, the government approved the scheme for solar modules, setting aside INR 45 billion to boost domestic solar manufacturing to add 10 GW integrated production capacity (see Indian Cabinet Approves PLI Scheme For Solar Manufacturing).
The higher the capacity of plants, the higher the preference given to manufacturers. In other words, maximum preference will be given to manufacturers who offer to set up annual production capacity of 4 GW and above, followed by those who offer to build 3.5 GW to less than 4 GW, and so on and so forth.
The ministry will be looking at considering manufacturers that offer to build a minimum of 1 GW capacity, meaning 1 GW each for all individual stages in their proposal.
Interested companies must ensure a minimum module efficiency of 19.50% with temperature coefficient of Pmax better than -0.30% per degree Celsius, or minimum module efficiency of 20% with a temperature coefficient of Pmax equal to or better than -0.40% per degree Celsius.
The detailed document on MNRE’s website explains the selection criteria that will be used for bidders who fulfill the minimum conditions to be shortlisted and then assigned marks. Selections will be made basis bucket filling method to exhaust the PLI limit of INR 45 billion. Winning companies will be eligible to get PLI amount for 5 years.
In case there is oversubscription of the bid, the ministry will maintain a waiting list for 6 months, and if it gets additional financial outlay over and above the INR 45 billion, the waiting list will be cleared following the bucket filling method.
Maximum capacity to be awarded to a bidder who will be at 50% of the bid capacity that the company has offered to set up or 2 GW whichever is less, to accommodate at least 3 companies under the INR 45 billion scheme.
The PLI will be given on actual production and sales of high efficiency modules by the selected units. The amount will increase with increased use of local materials.
However, MNRE has specified, “Manufacturing units which have availed any benefit under the MNRE’s tender(s) for solar Power Purchase Agreements linked to PV manufacturing or SIPS/ MSIPS programme of Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY) will not be eligible for benefits under this programme. Manufacturing units which have imported capital goods for setting up the module manufacturing facility before the last date of bid submission will not be eligible for participation under the PLI scheme.”
Implemented by IREDA
To be implemented by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), the PLI Scheme will select beneficiaries through a transparent bidding process. Priority will be given to manufacturers who propose to set up a fully integrated solar PV manufacturing plant using silicon based technology, starting from manufacturing of polysilicon, to ingot/wafer, to solar cell and modules, or fully integrated thin film technology.
Applicant manufacturers will have to ensure minimum integration across solar cells and modules to be considered.
Currently, India’s operational domestic manufacturing capacity stands at around 2.5 GW for solar cells and between 9 GW to 10 GW for solar modules, and needless to say this is disappointing for the government of a country that has the ambition to install 100 GW solar by 2022. By 2030, India wants to install 450 GW of renewable energy capacity. For solar, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) sees 280 GW coming from solar for which around 25 GW needs to be installed annually till 2030.
Through the PLI scheme, the government wants to promote local manufacturing of high efficiency solar PV modules and reduce its import dependence in this space.