- MNRE has modified its 12 GW CPSU Scheme Phase-II for solar power, lowering usage charges to INR 2.45 per kWh, compared to INR 2.80 per kWh previously
- Ministry has also extended renewable power project commissioning deadline for projects impacted under 2nd COVID-19 wave
- Vikram Solar has expanded a 140 MW operational solar project in Bilhaur, UP for NTPC by 85 MW
- IHS Markit’s Global Renewable Markets Attractiveness Rankings feature India on the 6th spot
- Government has expanded PLI scheme to back 50 GWh advanced chemistry cell battery storage capacity
CPSU scheme amended: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has introduced amendments to the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme Phase-II under which it plans to procure 12 GW of grid connected solar PV capacity for self-consumption or for use by government entities (see India Details 12 GW CPSU Scheme Phase-II). Under the modifications introduced, the usage charges have been lowered to INR 2.45 ($0.033) per kWh, as against INR 2.80 per kWh previously. Maximum permissible limit of the viability gap funding (VGF) has been brought down to INR 5.5 million ($74,960) per MW, from the earlier agreed amount of INR 7.0 million. All projects under the scheme will need to be commissioned within 30 months from the date of letter of award (LOA).
RE project commissioning extension: Renewable energy generating stations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic’s 2nd wave in India have secured an extension to their commissioning schedules by the MNRE. Projects that have their scheduled commissioning date on or after April 1, 2021 will be eligible to claim a time-extension to complete their projects, provided they do not use this as an excuse to terminate power purchase agreement (PPA) or to claim any increase in the project cost. Projects that will be allowed this extension are those that are being implemented through implementing agencies designated by the ministry or under various schemes of the ministry. Provided that these conditions are met, no other supporting documents will be required to grant time extension. Developers will be expected to pass on the benefit of time extension to other stakeholders down the value chain including EPC contractors material or equipment suppliers OEM’s etc., according to the office memorandum issued by the MNRE.
85 MW solar project commissioned: Solar module maker and EPC company Vikram Solar has commissioned a 85 MW solar power plant for the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) in Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) Bilhaur. In April 2021, 70 MW of the 85 MW capacity was brought online. This, coupled with 140 MW solar capacity already operational on site, takes the total capacity of the project to 225 MW making it the ‘largest’ solar project at a single location in UP (see India PV News Snippets: SECI, SWSL, NTPC, BHEL, REIL). Vikram Solar has deployed its own solar modules for the project that’s expected to produce 200 million units. Vikram Solar now claims to have a portfolio of commissioned and under-construction projects with a total capacity of 708 MW with NTPC. Its current annual module production capacity now stands at 1.2 GW.
India, attractive renewable investment destination: IHS Markit’s latest Global Renewable Markets Attractiveness Rankings for the period ending December 2020 has India on 6th spot in a list headed by the US. India is attractive due to its strong ambitions and stable procurement initiatives, according to the authors. Listing markets that are expected to account for 90% of non-hydro renewables capacity additions to 2030, the rankings use an integrated proprietary methodology to provide comparable views on 35 markets globally.
PLI scheme extended to include battery storage: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved INR 181 billion ($2.5 billion) under Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme to support 50 GWh of advanced chemistry cell (ACC) battery storage capacity. The National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage was proposed by the Department of Heavy Industry. This capacity will be used to store electric energy either as electrochemical or as chemical energy and convert it back to electric energy as and when required, and will be useful for a number of business segments including advanced electricity grids and rooftop solar, that the government sees as set for ‘robust growth’ in the coming years.