Daily News Wrap-Up: India Adds 1.3 GW of Rooftop Solar Capacity in 9M 2023

Ministry of Mines issues tender for 20 critical minerals blocks

December 1, 2023


India installed over 1.3 GW of rooftop solar capacity in the first nine months of the calendar year 2023, an increase of 12% year-over-year (YoY), according to Mercom India Research’s newly released Q3 2023 Mercom India Rooftop Solar Market Report. India added 431 MW of rooftop solar capacity in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023, up 34.7% YoY. The installations also saw a quarter-over-quarter increase of 11.4% from 388 MW. India’s cumulative rooftop solar capacity reached 10.1 GW at the end of Q3 2023. “Residential rooftop segment has been crucial in boosting installation numbers fueled by lower component costs,” said Priya Sanjay, Managing Director, Mercom India.

The Ministry of Mines has invited bids for the grant of concessions for 20 critical mineral blocks across seven states and one union territory. The selection of eligible bidders will be based on the highest percentage of the value of mineral despatched quoted by them. The last date for the submission of bids is January 22, 2024. The tender document and applicable GST are priced at ₹300,000 (~$3,600). The total area allocated for the first-ever critical minerals auction is 463.995 hectares.

In an exclusive interview with Mercom India, V K Singh, Technical Director at REC Limited, discusses the role the government-owned infrastructure finance company aims to play in achieving India’s ambitious 500 GW renewable energy target. He elaborated on the opportunities and challenges in funding renewable energy projects and the way ahead.

Solar cell and module exports from India surged 246% to $543.8 million (~₹45.5 billion) in Q3 of 2023 from $157 million (~₹12.5 billion) in Q3 2022, according to recent data published by the Department of Commerce. Exports were up by 17% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) from $463.8 million (~₹38.1 billion). The U.S. remained the top export destination in Q3 2023, accounting for 97.2%. Exports to the U.S. increased by 15.8% QoQ. Indonesia accounted for around 1% of Indian solar exports, while Somalia, Thailand, and South Africa each accounted for 0.6%, 0.2% and 0.2%, respectively.

SJVN Green Energy, a subsidiary of SJVN, is seeking bids to purchase or lease 1,000 acres of land for 28 years in Punjab to develop a 200 MW solar power projects. The land should possess all statutory clearances and include chain-link fencing along its periphery. The successful bidder should facilitate connectivity with the State Transmission Utility to establish the solar power projects. The last date for the submission of bids is December 20, 2023. Bids will be opened the same day. Bidders have to submit ₹5,900 (~$70.75) as the cost of the bid document.

Bihar State Power Generation Company has invited bids to procure power from a 10 MW floating solar project to be set up on Phulwaria Dam under the renewable energy service company model. The last day to submit the bids is December 15, 2023. Bids will be opened on the same day. Bidders must submit a bid security of ₹12 million (~$144,021). Selected bidders must submit ₹3 million (~$36,006)/ MW as a performance bank guarantee within 30 days of issuance of the letter of intent or before signing the power purchase agreement, whichever is earlier.

Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam has invited bids to set up pilot projects of 250 MW/500 MWh standalone battery energy storage systems in Gujarat under tariff-based global competitive bidding (Phase-II). The last day to submit the bids is January 6, 2023. Bids will be opened on January 10. Bidders must submit a bid processing fee of ₹1.5 million (~$17,993) and an earnest money deposit of ₹740,000 (~$8876)/ MW. Selected bidders must furnish ₹50,000 (~$6,000)/ MW as a performance bank guarantee before signing the battery energy storage purchase agreement.

The Central Electricity Authority has begun planning to install transmission infrastructure to cater to the power demands of upcoming green hydrogen and green ammonia plants across seven coastal states and three inland states in consultation with the Central Transmission Utility. About 40 GW of power is estimated to be the requirement at green hydrogen/ammonia/methanol production sites by 2032. This includes 22 GW of power requirement for Adani New Industries’ green ammonia plant at Mundra in Gujarat by 2030.

Power transmission company Sterlite Power has won the order for Phase-IV (Part-1-Bikaner Complex): Part-B Transmission project to evacuate 8 GW of renewable energy in Rajasthan. The company will develop a 6,000 MVA, 765/400kV substation at Neemrana and two 400 kV transmission lines spanning 250 km as part of the project. This is Sterlite’s third Green Energy Corridor project in the state. The company will build this project on a build, own, operate, and transfer basis for 35 years.

A $1.3 billion financing package for the Faraday Solar project, a 682.5 MW ground-mounted solar facility in Utah County, Utah, in the U.S., was closed by Excelsior Energy Capital, a renewable energy infrastructure fund focused on middle-market investments in North America. Excelsior had acquired the project from renewable energy project developers Parasol and Clenera, who previously developed and owned Faraday Solar. The construction of the Faraday Solar project is in progress and is expected to start operating in Q3 2025.

The European Commission has proposed an action plan to ensure that electricity grids in the European Union (EU) operate efficiently and are rolled out further and faster. The action plan aims to help deliver the European Green Deal, a package of policy initiatives targeted to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 55% by 2030. With 40% of the EU’s distribution grids more than 40 years old and cross-border transmission capacity due to double by 2030, €584 billion (~$637 billion) in investments is necessary.

France has installed 803 MW of solar capacity in the third quarter of 2023, compared to 699 MW installed in the same period last year, a 14.88% increase. The country’s total installed solar capacity was 19 GW as of September 30, 2023, with 18.3 GW in mainland France. The country added 2.2 GW of new solar capacity in the first nine months of 2023 compared to 1.9 GW in the same period last year. The numbers were revealed by France’s Ministry of Energy Transition in a recent report. The country recorded 19.4 TWh of solar power generation during the January- September period, an increase of 18.7% year-over-year.