Daily News Wrap-Up: SECI’s Tender for 800 MW of ISTS-Connected Renewable Energy Projects

Maharashtra invites bids to set up 310 EV charging stations

August 17, 2023


Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has invited bids to select renewable energy developers to supply 800 MW firm and dispatchable power from Inter-State Transmission System-connected renewable energy projects, including energy storage systems, under tariff-based competitive bidding. The projects will be developed under SECI’s Firm and Dispatchable Renewable Energy-III program. The renewable energy developers will be responsible for securing land and connectivity. The last date for the submission of bids is September 29, 2023.

Mahatma Phule Renewable Energy and Infrastructure Technology has invited bids to empanel agencies for two years to set up 310 electric vehicle charging stations in Maharashtra. The last date for the submission of bids is August 31, 2023. Bids will be opened the same day. Mahatma Phule Renewable Energy and Infrastructure Technology will secure the land locations from government organizations. The agreed-upon land rights will span ten years, and there is a potential for an extension of an additional five years. Bidders must submit an earnest money deposit of ₹50,000 (~$600).

In response to a significant surge in power demand and subsequent reports of load-shedding incidents, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has taken a series of strategic measures to mitigate the current power shortage and enhance the grid’s efficiency. During a high demand period, specifically on August 11, 2023, states across the grid reportedly experienced load shedding of approximately 6-7 GW. These incidents occurred despite the availability of substantial generation capacity, including 3 GW from reserve shutdown units and operational units.

In a move towards promoting sustainable urban transportation and economic growth, the Union Cabinet has approved the “PM-eBus Sewa” program, under which 10,000 electric buses will be deployed across the nation. The program will have a budget of ₹576.13 billion (~$6.9 billion). The PM-eBus Sewa program focuses on cities with a population of 300,000 and above per the 2011 census, encompassing all union territory capitals, the northeastern region, and the hilly states.

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company’s (MSEDCL) petition seeking approval to initiate a competitive bidding process to procure 7,000 MW of solar power under the Mukhyamantri Saur Krishi Vahini Yojana 2.0 initiative, to manage the rising demand in the agricultural sector. The Commission also approved most of the 34 amendments petitioned to be introduced in the request for selection document and the draft power purchase agreement by MSEDCL.

In a sign that India’s financial institutions are getting serious about contributing to the country’s energy transition goals, public sector bank Canara Bank has issued a Green Deposit Policy and Lending Framework designed for green initiatives, including solar and wind energy projects. The framework is on the lines of the Reserve Bank of India’s guidance document for financial institutions to offer ‘green deposits’ to customers, address ‘greenwashing’ concerns, and help augment the flow of credit to green activities and projects.

Energy storage technology and solutions provider Fluence Energy’s net loss narrowed to $35.05 million in the third quarter of the fiscal year (FY) 2022-23, a 42% year-over-year (YoY) improvement from $60.83 million. The improvement was attributed to the increased energy storage solution deployments and higher order backlog. The company’s revenue grew 124.41% YoY to $536.35 million as select projects were deployed before their scheduled timeline.

Caelux, a U.S.-based perovskite solar cell technology firm, has announced the closure of a $12 million series A3 funding round led by Temasek, a global investment company, to support the company’s factory expansion, research and development, and new product launch. Reliance New Energy, Khosla Ventures, Mitsui Fudosan, and Fine Structure Ventures were the other participants in the financing round. With the recent round, the total Series A funding raised by the company comes to $24 million.

China-based solar cell and module manufacturer Jinko Solar reported a net income of RMB2.41 billion (~$331.38 million) in Q2 2023, a considerable improvement from a net loss of RMB346.48 million (~$47.64 million) in Q2 2022. The net income increased by 73% quarter-over-quarter. The considerable improvement in the net income was attributed to increased module shipments by the company.

Polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon recorded a net loss of $14.7 million during Q2 2023, a YoY improvement of 37.7% from a loss of $23.6 million. The improvement was attributed to the improved silicon gas sales during the quarter. The company recorded a revenue of $36.7 million, a YoY decrease of 18.4% compared to $45 million, as polysilicon prices continued to drop in the second quarter. Revenue, however, increased from Q1 due to greater sales of silicon gas and increased prices for semiconductor-grade poly.

Energy storage solutions provider Eos Energy Enterprises‘ net loss widened to $131.6 million for Q2 FY 2023 from $56.7 million YoY, mainly due to higher interest and other expenses, even though the cost of goods came down. The cost of goods sold during the April-June quarter totaled $11.2 million, a 69% YoY dip in per unit cost driven by decreased volume related to the shift to the new battery module. It helped narrow the operational losses for the quarter to $34.6 million compared to $57.4 million YoY.

Shoals Technologies Group, a manufacturer of electrical balance of systems (EBOS) for solar, energy storage, and eMobility recorded a net income of $18.92 million during Q2 of 2023, a YoY increase of 159% compared to $7.3 million. The revenue was recorded at $119.21 million, a YoY increase of 62.2%. The increase in revenue stemmed from elevated sales quantities due to a heightened need for solar EBOS overall and the company’s customizable Combine-As-You-Go System Solutions in particular.

In a new study on using seawater green batteries to store renewable energy, researchers developed a new chloride ion-based redox chemistry. Xiaowei Teng, the James H. Manning professor of Chemical Engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and his team, inserted chloride, the richest negatively charged ion in seawater, into iron hydroxide (Fe(OH)2) layered double hydroxide. Seawater green batteries are a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to lithium-ion batteries.