- MNRE head RK Singh has confirmed NTPC will not be developing 12 GW of solar power capacity under India's National Solar Mission (NSM)
- Originally, NTPC had been entrusted with installing 15 GW of solar power capacity under the country’s NSM, to be bundled with thermal power, of which it has already awarded 3 GW
- Falling cost of solar power tariffs is the official reason why NTPC is not required anymore to bundle this solar capacity with thermal power
India’s largest utility, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) will not be going ahead with the planned 12 GW of solar PV capacity development, decided the country’s government. RK Singh, heading the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), informed the country’s Parliament in a written response, reported by news agency Press Trust of India (PTI).
Under the National Solar Mission (NSM), NTPC had been assigned the task of developing 15 GW of solar PV capacity in 3 tranches. From Tranche 1 (3 GW in 2014-15 to 2016-17) the entire capacity has been awarded, 2.75 GW has been commissioned, while the final 250 MW is under construction. However, NTPC will not be required to tender the remaining 12 GW, which was originally planned to be tendered under Tranche II (5 GW in 2015-16 to 2017-18) and Tranche III (7 GW in 2016-17 to 2018-19).
The plan was that the utility bundles solar power with thermal power supply in specific states.
Singh attributed the reason for this decision to the fall in solar prices. With solar tariffs having come down as much as INR 2.44 ($0.034) per kWh, and solar power auctions achieving tariffs more or less under INR 3.00 ($0.042) per kWh, it doesn’t make sense to bundle it with thermal power anymore, the minister said.
As per its Corporate Plan, NTPC wants to achieve 32 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2032, of which 10 GW is supposed to come from solar power (see NTPC Aims At 32 GW Renewables Capacity).