Daily News Wrap-Up: MNRE Rethinks CPSUs’ Involvement in Rooftop Solar Program

MNRE holds the ALMM reimposition order in abeyance

February 16, 2024


Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced 300 units of free electricity through rooftop solar projects installed under the PM Surya Ghar: Muft Bijli Yojana, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has told industry stakeholders that it is rethinking the implementation of the program. Sources told Mercom that MNRE, in an interaction with industry stakeholders, that Central Public Sector Undertakings designated as the implementing agencies may no longer be involved in executing the program.

The MNRE has kept in abeyance its recent order reimposing the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers regulation from April 1, 2024. On February 9, 2024, the ministry confirmed the reimposition of ALMM with exemptions for projects set up under open access solar and those in advanced stages of construction and rooftop solar projects with no subsidy. The MNRE has now stated that the previous order will stay in abeyance till further orders are issued.

The Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL) has invited bids to set up 31.37 MW rooftop solar power projects at various office buildings, 66 kV grid substations, hydel projects, and thermal projects of PSPCL at different locations under seven packages. The last date for the submission of bids is March 14, 2024. Bids will be opened the next day. Bidders must provide an earnest money deposit equal to 2% of the project cost, with a maximum limit set at ₹2 million (~$24,087.08). Except Package 7, whose limit is set to ₹800,000 (~$9,634.51)

After initiatives aimed at using green hydrogen to decarbonize the shipping and steel sectors, the government has turned its attention towards transportation. MNRE has launched pilot projects to use green hydrogen in the long-haul transportation sector under the National Green Hydrogen Mission. The program aims to support the deployment of green hydrogen through fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen internal combustion engine-based trucks and buses in a phased manner. It will also explore blending green hydrogen-based ethanol, methanol, and other synthetic fuels to run automobiles.

Arunachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency has invited bids to commission 500 DC solar water pumping systems of 2 HP to 7.5 HP capacity at various locations in the state under the Component B of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan program. The systems should carry a warranty and include annual maintenance contracts for five years. The project’s estimated cost is ₹173.95 million (~$2.09 million). The pumps must be commissioned within 120 days of receiving the work order.

The Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission has clarified that Regulation 2(xix) of the MPERC (Cogeneration and Generation of Electricity from Renewable Sources of Energy) Regulations, 2021 expressly states that hybrid renewable projects can be situated at two distinct locations and are permitted to inject power into the grid from two points. The order is in response to a petition filed by Madhya Pradesh Power Transmission Company seeking clarification regarding the definition of a renewable hybrid energy project.

The European Union has reached a provisional agreement on legislation aimed at boosting the bloc’s production of green technologies needed to achieve its goal of cutting carbon emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The legislation called the “Net-Zero Industry Act” is intended to support domestic manufacturing of key technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and carbon capture. The goal is to use domestically produced green technology to cover 40% of the EU’s needs by 2030.

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