India’s National Solar Mission gets off to a jump start, to exceed target this year

solar-power-tariff-india

India is set to nearly double its solar power generation capacity in the ongoing financial year and comfortably exceed its target of adding 1.8 GW of extra capacity during the year.

According to numbers obtained from various government sources, the country is all set to end the current financial year with a total solar power generation capacity of about 6 GW.

In comparison, India had only 3.5 GW of operational capacity in February of 2015. Moreover, the performance and efficiency of solar PV plants that have been put up under the National Solar Mission has also turned out to be better than global average.

The performance of the industry this far will be a shot in the arm for the ministry of new and renewable energy or MNRE, which has a target of achieving 100 GW of solar power by 2022.

According to India’s National Solar Mission roadmap, the country was supposed to add 1.8 GW in the year ending this month, taking the total to about 5.5 GW. Next year, India has a target of adding 7.2 GW and in 2017-18, it plans to add 10 GW.

Out of the total 100 GW to be achieved by 2022, 40% is supposed to be added in the form of rooftop solar and 57 GW in the form of large power projects or farms.

The 57 GW planned capacity addition will also include concentrating solar thermal plants in addition to photovoltaic, or dry, plants.

So far, nearly all the installations have been built using PV or photovoltaic technology, which is extremely low-maintenance as there are very few moving parts involved.

HUGE ENTHUSIASM

Part of the reason why the first-year target is set to be easily demolished is extremely enthusiastic participation from private companies.

Against India’s total target of 1.8 GW for this financial year, Adani Group signed an agreement with Rajasthan government in June to set up a 10 GW plant.

Rajasthan, which can easily meet the power needs of the entire country if it is covers even a part of its desert with solar panels, has announced that it wants to be home to at least one-fourth (25 GW) of India’s planned 100 GW capacity by 2022. At present, India’s total power generation capacity — including coal and hydro — is about 240 GW,

As of December, Rajasthan led the country with a total solar power generation capacity of 1.26 GW, followed by Gujarat with 1 GW and Madhya Pradesh with 0.7 GW. Maharashtra had 378 MW and Andhra Pradesh 253 MW.

By next year, Andhra Pradesh is likely to emerge second as it has 3,500 MW of power capacity already sanctioned for subsidy from the government of India.

The government of India provides subsidy to large parks at the rate of Rs 20 lakh per MW. The cost of creating a solar park in India is currently around Rs 5 cr ($735 mln) per MW, or about 73.5 cents per watt — one of the lowest in the world.

Due to the high insolation found in India, the country can produce about 200 kW per acre of land.

In addition, the high insolation has also resulted in high efficiency in terms of power generated by PV panels.

Unlike coal plants, which can output as much as 95% of their design capacity as long as fuel is provided, solar panels cannot work at anything close to that level as the sun is not available throughout the day.

As a result, typically, they output only about 12-13% of the rated capacity in case of fixed installations and 17-19% or so in case of moving installations where the panel tracks the movement of the sun through the sky.

However, some of the solar parks that have been installed under the National Solar Mission have been reported to output 21.75% of their design capacity, and the lowest efficiency found was 16.28%.

Not surprisingly, the price guaranteed by private players to the government for solar power dipped to just Rs 4.63 (68 cents) per kWh in November for a plant in Andhra Pradesh being put up by SunEdison.

Even under the ‘India-manufactured’ segment, prices dipped to Rs 5.12 per kWh in December. Under the domestic manufacturing segment, the developer can only use locally manufactured panels, though the silicon can be imported from other countries like China.

At present, coal-based power plants supply power to state distribution companies at around Rs 2 per unit, excluding environmental and health costs. It is expected that solar PV power will achieve parity with ‘dirty coal’ in another three years in terms of production costs.

In 2011, private players were bidding to supply solar power at Rs 8.3 — almost double the current rates. In December 2010, the lowest bid was at Rs 11.6 per kWh. Even these relatively high rates were considered risky at the time.



Mumbai’s Viviana Mall installs India’s largest rooftop solar plant Viviana Mall in Mumbai has installed one of the largest single-site solar plants in India.The mall, located in Thane, has constructed a 900,000 volt-ampere rooftop solar power plant, which the company said was the biggest in India.900,000 volt-ampere refers to the peak capacity of the power plant. It implies that at full power (during noon on a sunny...
Delhi Pollution Control Board extends shutdown of NTPC Badarpur plant till January NTPC Ltd said the Delhi Pollution Control Committee has given directions to keep all its units in Badarpur Thermal Power Station closed till January 31, 2017.The reason for the committees direction has not been disclosed by NTPC. However, the reason is likely to be concerns around poor air quality in Delhi.The plant was first shut down earlier this y...
Adani Group commissions India’s largest tracker solar plant Infrastructure company Adani Enterprises Ltd said it commissioned India's largest tracker-based solar power plant at Bhatinda in Punjab.The 100 megawatt plant is also the largest solar project in Punjab.Tracker plants are those with motorized panels that keep tracking the sun as it moves across the sky. Compared to fixed panels, tracking panels gener...
India adds 1,732 MW of hydro-power capacity Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated three hydro-electric projects in Himachal Pradesh, representing 1,732 MW of generating capacity, to the nation today.The biggest of the three is NTPC's Koldam, which has four generating units of 200 MW each. The second biggest was Parbati Stage-III, which comprises 4 units of 130 MW each and is operated by NHPC. ...
ABB creates record with 1.2 mln volt transformer for new India grid Power generator ABB said it developed, manufactured and energized a 1.2 mln volts ultra high voltage power transformer to support India’s plans to build a 1,200 kV transmission system.The new grid will supplement the existing 400 kV and 800 kV networks as demand for electricity increases."The 1.2 million volt transformer represents the highest alte...
L&T partners with Microsoft to set up “Green Campuses” L&T Technology Services, the information technology company of the L&T group, said it has partnered with Microsoft Corporation to offer a solution to lower energy bills and cost of maintenance.L&T Technology Service's Integrated Building Energy Management Systems (iBEMS) framework will be available on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform enab...
ABB to install 600 KW solar energy in its Vadodara facility ABB, a power and automation technology company, today said it will install a 600 KW fully integrated and standardized microgrid solar energy at its Vadodara facility in Gujarat to help boost renewable energy generation while reducing dependency on fossil fuel.This microgrid with a rooftop photo voltaic field at the company’s biggest manufacturing locatio...
Star rating for Indian mines by next month, satellite monitoring to check illegal activity The government of India will introduce a star rating for mines by next month and start monitoring mining activity using satellite, said mining secretary Balvinder Kumar said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today."If (mines)y don’t get 4 or 5 star rating they will get 2-3 years to comply. By end of November, we will finish first phase of star ratin...
NHPC extends power purchase for 35 years Hydro power company NHPC Ltd said the power purchase agreements for its two power stations, Teesta-V power station and Rangit power station has been extended for another 35 years.Teesta-V has power generating capacity of 510 MW, while Rangit station has a capacity of 60 MW.The agreement extension is from the date of commercial operation of last unit ...
Suzlon wins cumulative orders of 111.3 MW projects in August-September Renewable energy company Suzlon Group said it has won orders for a combined capacity of 111.30 MW in August and September, which includes Serum Institute of India Ltd, Rajasthan Gum Group."The corporate and SME orders have been received from mixed bag of customers across diverse industry segments including chemical, infrastructure, manufacturing, textile...
Tired of waiting, Govt gives more teeth to Clean Ganga Authority The government has approved the setting up of National Mission for Clean Ganga in the place of the existing National Ganga River Basin Authority to fast track rejuvenation projects.The authority will have powers to issue directions and also to exercise the powers under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to enable it to carry out efficiently its manda...
Heritage Foods commissions second wind power project with Suzlon in Andhra Heritage foods Ltd, one of the largest private sector dairy enterprises in Southern India, said it has finished the commissioning of the 2nd wind power plant at Vajrakarur of Ananthapur District in Andhra Pradesh.The wind power plant has a 2.1 MW capacity and is expected to generate 5 million units per year. At Rs 7 per unit, that is worth about Rs 3.5 c...
Wonderla Hyderabad waterpark installs 500 kW solar plant Wonderla amusement park had set up a solar plant with an installed capacity of 500kW at it´s newly opened unit in Hyderabad.The installed solar plant will generate 2000 units of power daily and it is expected cater to 25 percent of Wonderla's daily power requirement. The capacity can be enhanced to 1000kW.By this venture it becomes the first amusemen...
Toxic Mercury in Lights: NGO accuses MNCs of double standards Many international lighting companies are displaying double standards by challenging India's new mercury recycling rules, said environmental NGO Toxics Link.The NGO said these companies are resisting India's new e-waste rules while conforming to them in other countries.¨However, the same companies for long have been fulfilling their commitments under...
Suzlon wins 52.4 MW project from Oil India, to power 28,000 households Suzlon Group, a renewable energy solutions provider, said it has won its first project from Oil India Ltd (OIL) for 52.5 MW for two sites in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.The project will provide power to around 28,000 households and will reduce .11 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum, said the company.The project which is scheduled to be complete...