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Energy Power, Renewable, Solar, Solar Inverter, Solar Panel, solar parks

The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh – which had commissioned an aggregate 3.53 GW of solar capacity as of May 31 – will set up the new plants to ensure nine hours of daily free power supply to the agricultural sector.

The state government of Andhra Pradesh has approved the planned development of 10 GW of solar capacity to meet the energy requirements of the agricultural sector. The project is aimed at providing nine hours of daily power supply to farmers, the Press Trust of India reported.

Separately, the State Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, also approved the establishment of an Integrated Renewable Energy Project (IREP).

Integrated Renewable Energy Project

“As part of the IREP, 550 MW of wind power, 1200 MW of pumped storage hydel power plant and 1000 MW of Solar power will be set up,” PTI quoted Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah.

The proposal to set up 10 GW of its own solar power generation projects was floated by the state government in February this year as it has been incurring more than Rs 10,000 crore to meet the agriculture subsidy, lift irrigation power charges and aquaculture subsidy every year.

The subsidy has been on a continuous rise over the years with the increasing cost of power supply and also an increase in the number of agricultural pump set connections.

Source: https://www.pv-magazine-india.com/2020/06/12/andhra-pradesh-approves-10-gw-solar-projects-to-power-farming/

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Energy Power, Renewable, Solar, Solar Inverter, solar parks, Tender

Adani Green Energy may look to replicate its recent solar collaboration with France’s Total after winning 8 gigawatts of projects in India this week.

Adani Green Energy, part of India’s Adani Group conglomerate, will build 8 gigawatts of large-scale solar capacity worth $6 billion in India over the next five years, after winning the world’s largest solar energy tender award this week. 

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a government body responsible for delivering India’s 100-gigawatt solar target for 2022, selected Adani Green in a tender designed to give a boost to India’s solar manufacturing sector. Adani Solar, the Adani Group’s separate PV manufacturing arm, will build an additional 2 gigawatts of domestic cell and module production capacity as part of the deal, to be up and running by 2022.

The first 2 gigawatts of the solar projects will be built by 2022, with three more 2-gigawatt chunks to be added in each of the subsequent three years, the developer said. India built around 9.5 gigawatts of new solar last year, according to Wood Mackenzie, making Adani’s projects a significant new tailwind for the overall market.

Adani’s solar plants will be built in multiple locations, but one of the developments will be a 2-gigawatt single-site array, tying Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra as the world’s largest announced solar project. 

An Adani Green spokesperson told Greentech Media that the developer will finance each 2-gigawatt portion off its own balance sheet, raising project finance as construction begins. The company will then look to refinance once the plants are operational to lower the cost of capital. Some of the projects have already undergone two to three years of development work. the pricing of the winning projects is 2.92 rupees (3.9 cents) per kilowatt-hour.

Potential investment from France’s Total?

Earlier this year Adani Green spun several gigawatts of operational solar assets into a new company, with French energy major Total taking a 50 percent stake in the new venture for $510 million.

On a conference call this week, Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani said that Total is “very much interested” in expanding its partnership with Adani Green and that several other foreign investors are also in talks with the company.

“[Adani Green] is always looking for ways to further reduce its costs of capital and to work with other energy majors and traditional investors as a path to facilitating the company’s continued rapid growth,” the spokesperson told GTM in an email.

The Adani Group runs a diverse range of businesses from logistics and ports to aerospace and coal mining. The week’s win takes Adani Green’s pipeline of built, under-construction or contracted solar projects to 15 gigawatts. The developer, among India’s largest renewables players, is targeting 25 gigawatts of installed solar capacity by 2025.

Avoiding the financing pitfalls for Indian solar projects

Despite the government’s big ambitions, confidence in India’s solar market has been shaky in recent years. The government’s goal of 175 gigawatts of renewables by 2022, including 100 gigawatts of solar, is widely seen as unrealistic. India had around 36 gigawatts of installed solar at the end of 2019, according to Wood Mackenzie. 

India has failed to build up a local PV manufacturing sector capable of competing with China. In the development world, the country’s complex patchwork of regional and national tenders, differing local content rules, and often unreliable off-takers have created instability and driven up the cost of finance. 

As solar prices in Indian tenders fell to very low levels, financially struggling local power distribution companies, known as discoms, began pushing to renegotiate some older, higher-priced contracts — further denting investor confidence. And all that was happening before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

SECI’s latest tender award avoids some of these pitfalls, however. For starters, the Indian government recently said it would inject 900 billion rupees ($11.9 billion) of liquidity into the country’s discoms.

“Coronavirus will likely make the discoms’ financial health worse, but the impact will be reduced by the government infusing liquidity into the power sector,” said Rishab Shrestha, solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. “These are large projects with contracted revenues, and it’s difficult for me to imagine SECI backing out of contracts. Historically, it was the investors that were pessimistic rather than the government.”

“SECI enjoys the full support of its 100 percent owner, the government of India,” Adani Green’s spokesperson said, noting that rating firm Fitch has this week given SECI and state power company NTPC a clean bill of health.

Can India finally kick-start its solar manufacturing sector?

Bidders in the 8-gigawatt tender had to commit to building local solar manufacturing capacity. Whether Adani’s commitment gives the country a sustainable boost remains to be seen. 

“SECI has made several attempts to kick-start the domestic manufacturing process through tenders but has failed to attract sufficient investors,” said WoodMac’s Shrestha. “The cost-competitiveness of domestic manufactured modules against Chinese imports was, and remains, the key hurdle.”

Despite this, Shrestha said the government has shown that it’s determined to establish a local renewables supply chain, even if that means higher costs for projects. “Focusing on localizing the supply chain also offers significant job opportunities for the growing Indian workforce,” added Shrestha.

Adani expects the manufacturing, construction and deployment of its full 8 gigawatts of solar to create 400,000 jobs.

If nothing else, the sheer size of Adani’s tender win this week gives it an advantage as it moves to scale up it’s local solar manufacturing.

“Logistics, utilities [and] bills of materials are driving the cost of Indian modules higher than that of China, so with this massive capacity, they’ll be able to leverage scale for more competitive pricing,” said Shrestha.

Source: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/adani-awarded-worlds-largest-solar-tender-win

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Energy Power, Solar, Tender
In A First, Indian Developer Seeks Buyers For 1 Gigawatt Of Solar Power Through Auction

We have covered numerous stories on tenders issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India and several state governments in India to invite project developers to set up solar power projects at the cheapest tariff possible. In a first, an Indian project developer has issued a tender inviting consumers to purchase solar power. 

India’s largest power generation company and government-owned NTPC Limited has issued a tender inviting consumers to purchase solar power. This is a first-of-its-kind tender as to date only consumers (or agencies representing consumers) have issued tenders inviting developers to set up projects. NTPC is reported to have around 1.8 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity operational in India. 

NTPC has itself issued several tenders inviting developers to set up large-scale projects at solar power parks. Like its thermal power plants, NTPC looks for distribution utilities that are willing to buy solar power from these solar parks. Power is then sold at the tariff quoted by project developers to the distribution utilities, with NTPC playing little to no part in the transactions. 

Neither the central government nor any of the state governments are believed to have issued any policies that allow or promote tenders like the one issued by NTPC. However, the company may have issued it for a couple of reasons. 

We covered a story in 2017 regarding the troubles NTPC was having to find a buyer for 250 megawatts of solar power project that it had allocated to a subsidiary of Engie in India. The distribution utilities that were supposed to buy power from the project had refused to signed a PPA with the power plant claiming that they had already contracted sufficient solar power to meet their Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO). Given the involvement of an international investor in this project the development would surely have caused an embarrassment to NTPC and it may be looking to avoid such situations in the future. 

Second, the tender issued is meant only for government-owned and public sector companies. These companies have been mandated by the central government to procure renewable energy to meet RPO targets. This offers NTPC a huge market. According to a Bombay Stock Exchange portal, there are 257 operational public sector companies under the central government. Being a public sector company itself NTPC should not have any major problems in getting into long-term power supply contracts with other public sector companies. Already, companies and entities like Coal India, Indian Railways, and others have announced plans to set up large-scale solar power projects.

The tender could potentially prove highly beneficial to the PSU companies as well, especially those that have no captive generation of their own. Industries and commercial establishments in India are charged the highest electricity tariffs in India in a bid to subsidize the energy consumption in the agriculture sector. With solar power tariffs currently hovering around 2.50-2.70/kWh (3.59¢/kWh-3.88¢/kWh) the end-consumers could make a substantial saving in their energy bills, and NTPC could earn a huge margin on sales.

Source: Clean Technica 
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