Daily News Wrap-Up: MNRE Hikes CFA for Residential Rooftop Solar Projects

NTPC’s tender for a 15 MW floating solar project in Chhattisgarh

January 9, 2024


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has increased the benchmark Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for grid-connected rooftop solar power systems under Phase II of the Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar Program. The CFA for systems ranging from 1 kW to 3 kW, installed through tendering and national portal applications, is ₹18,000 ($216)/kW for general states and ₹20,000 ($240)/kW for special category states. Systems of above 3 kW and up to 10 kW capacities will receive CFA of ₹9,000 (~$108)/ kW in general states and ₹10,000 ($120)/kW in special category states. An individual household with up to a 3 kW system in a general category state is eligible for a subsidy of ₹18,000 ($216)/kW, an increase from the earlier ₹14,588 (~$175)/ kW.

NTPC, on behalf of NTPC-SAIL Power Company (NSPCL), a joint venture of NTPC and SAIL, has invited bids to develop a 15 MW floating solar power project at Maroda reservoir-1 of NSPCL in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. The last date for the submission of bids is February 2, 2024. Bids will be opened the same day. The project will involve the comprehensive design of a grid-interactive solar power project, encompassing civil, electrical, and mechanical auxiliary systems. It includes creating detailed drawings for foundations, single-line diagrams, installation drawings, electrical layouts, design calculations, and other relevant documents essential for the engineering of all facilities within the project’s scope.

The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity has upheld the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (RERC) decision dismissing a petition filed by Kishangarh Hi-tech Textile Park (KHTPL), contending that regulations should not retroactively impact Power Purchase Agreements. KHTPL challenged the dismissal of its petition by the RERC and sought specific directions against the respondents— RERC, Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam, and Ajmer Vidyut Vitaran Nigam. They aimed to impose open access charges (transmission tariff and wheeling charges) at 50% of the tariff rates as per the 2009 tariff regulation.

Sonpur Division of East Central Railway has invited bids for state-wise empanelment of agencies to implement grid-connected rooftop solar power projects of 1.1 MW capacity at its electric loco shed in Barauni Junction through public-private partnership and on a design, build, finance, operate, and transfer basis. The projects would be developed in two capacity ranges— (i) above 10 kW and up to 100 kW, and (ii) above 100 kW and up to 500 kW. Bidders can quote for one or all the capacities. The projects must be commissioned within 240 days of receiving the work order. The developers must also provide comprehensive operation and maintenance services for 25 years. The last day to submit bids is January 31, 2024. Bids will be opened on the same day.

Renewable energy developer Serentica Renewables has secured ₹35 billion (~$425 million) for its round-the-clock renewable energy project in India from a consortium of three international banks and three Indian lenders. The deal will allow the company to fund the development of its 530 MW wind-solar hybrid project that will come up in Rajasthan and Maharashtra. This project will also provide clean energy to Hindustan Zinc, one of India’s largest zinc producers, replacing 24% of its coal-based power supply with firm dispatchable green power.

Solar cell and module manufacturer Qcells has sealed an eight-year alliance with Microsoft Corporation to supply 12 GW of solar modules and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services. The deal includes a 2.5 GW module and EPC services agreement that Qcells and Microsoft announced in January 2023. Qcells said it is poised to make Microsoft advance its sustainability goals of achieving carbon negativity, water positivity, and zero waste by 2030.