Daily News Wrap-Up: Torrent Power Allotted 6,000 Hectares of Land in Gujarat

MNRE extends timeline for Solar Park Program till FY26

June 21, 2023


Gujarat-based power company Torrent Power has disclosed its plans to achieve a 5 GW renewable energy portfolio over the next three to five years through inorganic acquisitions and greenfield projects. The company currently has a renewable energy project pipeline of 700 MW. The company also disclosed that it had been allocated 6,000 hectares of land in Gujarat, where it plans to set up ~3 GW of renewable projects encompassing both solar and wind energy.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has extended the timeline for the ‘Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects’ program to March 31, 2026 (FY 2026) from the earlier FY 2024. The extended timeline does not involve any financial implications.

Hyderabad-based Jayram Industries India has been awarded a contract by Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) for operating and maintaining a 65 MW solar power project located in Neyveli, Tamil Nadu, for 19 months. The tender was floated in May 2023 by BHEL for the project, which is owned by NLC India. The tender received technical bids from nine companies, of which four qualified for financial bids, and the contract was awarded to Jayram Industries.

Norway’s Climate Investment Fund, managed by Norfund, and KLP, the largest pension company in Norway, through their joint venture KNI India, have invested approximately NOK 317 million (~$30 million) in equity capital and up to NOK 530 million (~$50 million) in loan guarantees for a 168 MW wind power project developed by Enel Green Power in Gujarat. The wind project, which is already operational, is expected to generate approximately 700 GWh of clean energy per year and mitigate around 573,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NTPC, has invited bids to set up 6 MW of grid-connected solar power projects at the Cement Corporation of India’s Tandur plant in Telangana. The successful bidder will also have to take care of the project’s operation and maintenance for three years and the annual maintenance of critical equipment for ten years from the successful completion of the trial run. The last date to submit the bids online is July 10, 2023. Bids will be opened the following day.

In an exclusive interview with Mercom India, Kishor Nair, CEO of Avaada Energy, discussed the impact of government policies on solar cell and module manufacturing in India and emphasized the significance of the Production-Linked Incentive program for boosting the economy and encouraging more players to enter the industry. Nair highlighted the potential of the C&I consumers adopting solar and Avaada’s implementation plans. He also touched upon challenges faced in the Indian market, with inter-state transmission tariffs and the decline in rooftop solar installations.

China-based battery manufacturing and technology company Contemporary Amperex Technology has pledged an investment of $1.4 billion to build two lithium production plants that will utilize Direct Extraction of Lithium technology and will be located in the salt flats of Uyuni, Potosí, and Coipasa in the city of Oruro in Bolivia. The project’s initial phase aims to achieve an annual lithium production of approximately 200,000 tons.

After surpassing Australia last year to become the world’s second-largest cobalt producer, trailing behind the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia’s global cobalt output share is estimated to rise from 3% in 2022 to 19% by 2030, according to BloombergNEF. With the rising demand for cobalt driven by the electric vehicle (EV) industry’s need for batteries, Indonesia is projected to increase its production and maintain its second position throughout the next decade.