Daily News Wrap-Up: Indian Solar Exports and Imports Surge in 2023

SECI commissions 120 MWh battery energy storage system in Chhattisgarh

February 27, 2024


Indian solar exports rose 227% year-over-year to $1.8 billion (~₹152.6 billion) in CY 2023 from $561 million (~₹46.4 billion), according to recent data published by the Department of Commerce. Solar photovoltaic modules accounted for 97.4% of the annual solar exports, while solar cells accounted for the remaining 2.6%. The U.S. was the top buyer of Indian solar cells and modules, accounting for 97.3% of the exports in 2023. After imposing the anti-dumping and anti-circumvention duties on Chinese solar modules, the U.S. Department of Commerce clarified the scope of the anti-circumvention probe, allowing the import of solar modules made outside of Southeast Asia. These duties and clarifications have enabled Indian solar manufacturers to increase module shipments to the U.S.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has commissioned a 40 MW/120 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project associated with a 100 MW solar power project in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh. The corporation claims this to be the largest BESS project to be commissioned in India to date. SECI had first floated the tender for the project with the solar power component in September 2020 and later modified it in November 2020 and retendered it in July 2021. The engineering, procurement, and construction contract was awarded to Tata Power in December 2021.

Kolkata-headquartered solar cell and module manufacturer Jupiter International is setting up a 1.2 GW solar cell manufacturing facility in Odisha. Work on the plant, to be located in Khurda, will begin in the next quarter of the year. The facility will manufacture TopCon solar cells exclusively. Commissioning of the plant is expected by March 2025, Dhruv Sharma, CEO of Jupiter International, told Mercom. Jupiter’s ₹2.5 billion (~$30.2 million) solar cell project is among the 27 industrial projects that were approved by the Odisha State Level Single Window Clearance Authority last week.

NLC India has invited bids for the supply of central inverters for a 600 MW solar project in Gujarat State Electricity Corporation’s (GSECL) Solar Park in Khavda, Gujarat, on a package basis. The 600 MW Solar Power Project is intended to be developed by NLC through its wholly owned subsidiary, NLC India Green Energy, in the GSECL Stage 2 solar park. The last date to submit the bids is March 22, 2024. Bids will be opened on the same day.

NTPC has invited bids for the engineering, procurement, and construction of a 26 MW floating solar power project at Reservoir 1B of NTPC Sipat Thermal Power Plant in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh. The scope of work includes the design, erection, testing, and commissioning of the floating solar project along with the power evacuation system, including the supply and installation of solar modules in the designated area. It also includes three years of operation and maintenance of the project and annual maintenance of critical equipment.

Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency has invited bids to empanel vendors on an annual rate contract basis to set up a tentative aggregate of 8.4 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects with a net metering facility at various locations in the state. The projects are to be installed without any battery bank and are expected to cost approximately ₹319.5 million (~$3.85 million). The last date to submit the bids is March 11, 2024. Bids will be opened on the same day.

The West Bengal Power Development Corporation has invited bids for the operation and maintenance of the 10 MW ground-mounted solar power project at the Sagardighi thermal power plant in Murshidabad. The O&M contract duration is for four months, starting from March 15, 2024, to July 14, 2024. The last date to submit the bids is February 28, 2024. Bids will be opened on March 1.

The Jodhpur division of North Western Railway has floated a tender for 1 MW grid-connected rooftop solar power projects to be installed across railway stadiums, clubs, institutes, community centers, residential quarters, and other locations over the Jodhpur division. The last date to submit the bids is March 18, 2024. Bids will be opened on the same day. Bidders will have six months to complete the project. For the 1 MW tender, the advertised value of the project is ₹42.9 million ($12.31 million). Bidders must submit an earnest money deposit of ₹364,600 ($4,392).

Electric vehicle (EV) charger and energy efficiency products manufacturer Servotech Power Systems recently won an order worth ₹1.02 billion (~$12.31 million) for 1,500 DC fast EV chargers from Hindustan Petroleum Corporation. In addition to this order, which consists of two charger variations of 60 kW and 120 kW, the company will also manufacture and supply EV chargers to original equipment manufacturers. The company manufactures both AC and DC chargers that are compatible with different EVs.

InSolare Energy, a Bengaluru-headquartered renewable developer and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company, has raised ₹660 million (~$7.96 million) in a growth funding round. The funding was led by Negen Capital, with participation from Mukul Aggarwal, Anchorage Capital Fund, and Ankit Mittal – Khazana Tradelink. The company plans to utilize the funding to enhance its portfolio and EPC execution capabilities.

Solar prices fell for the first time since mid-2021 in the U.S., dropping 3.5% to $2.80/W in the second half of 2023, highlighting a residential solar market plagued by high inflation and changes to net metering policies, according to a report by EnergySage. The company analyzed quotes submitted by solar companies to shoppers, comparing trends throughout the year. Despite the downturn, consumer demand remained strong.

Hybrid power projects are emerging as key players in Türkiye’s pursuit of solar energy goals because of their capability to generate electricity from both primary and secondary sources connected to the grid at the same location, an energy think tank, Ember, reported. The implementation of hybrid power projects and the conversion of existing power projects to hybrids where solar is the secondary source became possible in Türkiye through a regulatory amendment in 2020. As of the end of 2023, solar was the secondary source for all 240 operational and planned hybrid power projects in Türkiye.

The European Commission‘s pilot European Hydrogen Bank auction has received 132 bids from projects across 17 European nations, which far exceeds the available €800 million  (~$865 million) budget. Collectively, the bids propose an electrolyzer capacity of 8.5 GW. This capacity is expected to generate 8.8 million tons of renewable hydrogen over a decade, covering nearly 10% of the European Union’s 2030 target for domestic renewable hydrogen production under the REPowerEU plan.