Daily News Wrap-Up: Maharashtra’s 7.78 GW Solar KUSUM Auction Results

Government launches ₹5 billion incentive program to promote electric mobility

March 15, 2024


SJVN Green Energy, Megha Engineering & Infrastructures, and Avaada Energy were amongst the winners of MSEB Solar Agro Power’s (MSAPL) auction to procure over 7 GW solar power under Component C of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan program. The projects tendered by MSAPL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Maharashtra State Electricity Board MSEB Holding Company, will be developed under the second phase of the Mukhyamantri Saur Krushi Vahini Yojana program.

The Ministry of Heavy Industries has launched the Electric Mobility Promotion Program 2024 with a funding of ₹5 billion (~$60.34 million). The program is scheduled from April 1, 2024, to  July 31, 2024, and targets electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers, including e-rickshaws, e-carts, and L5 category vehicles. The program will offer incentives only to vehicles equipped with advanced batteries to promote the use of cutting-edge technology. A majority of the budget, ₹4.93 billion (~$59.61 million), is allocated for subsidies and demand incentives for buyers of these vehicles.

Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company has invited bids for the procurement of power on a long-term basis through a competitive bidding process from 5,000 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic power projects. The last date for submission of bids is April 24, 2024. Bids will be opened the next day. Bidders have to pay ₹25,000 (~$301.64) as cost of the tender document and ₹1.5 million (~$18,097.89) + GST as processing fee. Bidders must also furnish an earnest money deposit of ₹100,000 (~$1,206.50)/MW + GST.

The Ministry of Power has released the twelfth annual integrated ratings and rankings report for the financial year (FY) 2023, which assessed the financial and operational performance of 55 power distribution companies (DISCOMs). The top DISCOM was Adani Electricity Mumbai (AEML), which sold 9,033 MU, generating revenue of ₹ 80.26 billion (~$968.64 million). AEML’s net profit for FY23 was ₹10.78 billion (~$130.1 million). Torrent Power Surat and Torrent Power Ahmedabad were the other top DISCOMs.

The Uttar Pradesh government aims to produce one million metric tons of green hydrogen annually by 2028 to replace the grey hydrogen used in its fertilizer and refinery industries. The current demand for hydrogen in the state is around 0.9 million metric tons per annum. The project’s overall capital investment size will determine the subsidy level. The first five investments (barring the Meerut division) will receive financial incentives of up to 40% of the total investment. During the policy period, this subsidy is capped at ₹2.25 billion (~$27 million) per project per annum.

Avaana Capital, a climate-technology investor, has received an investment of $120 million, including $24.5 million from  the Green Climate Fund (GCF), in the “Avaana Climate and Sustainability.” The investment is expected to support the company’s efforts to foster climate innovation and sustainability in India. GCF is dedicated to supporting developing countries in implementing climate action projects. It commits financial resources for the adaptation and mitigation of climate change effects, targeting key areas such as energy transition and mobility.

Gurgaon-based BluPine Energy has secured ₹12.6 billion (~$152.1 million) for its 198 MW wind project situated in Gujarat, which it had won under Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam’s auction to purchase power from 500 MW of grid-connected wind power projects (Phase-III) in 2022. Standard Chartered Bank and TATA Capital will act as underwriters for the green loan financing, the company said. BluPine had initially won 100 MW capacity at ₹3.05 (~$0.037)/kWh, along with six other companies.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved a tariff of ₹2.69 (~$0.0325)/kWh (300 MW, 180 MW, 150 MW) and ₹2.70 (~$0.0326)/kWh (450 MW, 120 MW), in addition to a trading margin of ₹0.07 (~$0.00084)/kWh for 1,200 MW ISTS connected wind power projects (Tranche-XI) on a “build-own-operate” basis. The Commission acknowledged the increase in GST rates on renewable energy devices, following the Ministry of Finance’s notification post-July 6, 2021, as a Change in Law event.

The Indian government is working to accelerate rooftop solar installations in the country through various programs with a focus on the residential segment. In an exclusive interview with Mercom India, Shreya Mishra, Co-Founder of SolarSquare, a residential rooftop solar solutions firm, explained how the recent programs will help drive the installations in the country and what policy modifications in certain states could help for wider adoption of rooftop solar. Mishra elaborated on the installation process and the factors customers should consider when installing a rooftop solar system.

High-power string inverters can significantly reduce the balance of system costs compared to central inverter solutions as they require fewer inverters per block and have a better DC-to-AC conversion ratio, a panel of industry experts at a webinar hosted by Mercom India said. The impact of inverters on project performance, stability, and the levelized cost of energy is substantial. The webinar, titled “How to Save Costs with High Power String Inverters in Large Scale Projects,” highlighted how high-capacity string inverters could help save costs for large-scale solar projects.

U.S.-based solar tracker systems provider FTC Solar’s net loss for the fourth quarter (Q4) in 2023 amounted to $11.2 million, an improvement of 45.3% year over year (YoY) compared to a net loss of $20.5 million as operating expenses declined in light of lower product volume. Total Q4 revenue reached $23.2 million, declining by 11.5% YoY due to reduced logistics volumes. After experiencing a period of restricted purchase orders spanning 18 months, resulting in decreased revenue levels, the company has seen a surge in closing purchase orders.