Daily News Wrap-Up: Tamil Nadu Cuts Rooftop Solar Network Charges by 50% for MSMEs

Gujarat’s consultancy tender for 500 MW solar park

December 13, 2023


The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission has reduced the rooftop solar network charges for all Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the state by 50% from ₹1.53 (~$0.018)/kWh to ₹0.765 (~$$0.009)/kWh. First introduced in November 2021, the state had imposed a network or wheeling charge of 20% for domestic consumers of up to 10 KW load and 75% for consumers with a load of more than 10 kW. The Commission also issued an order addressing Time of Day (ToD) charges. This directive, originating from the MSME Department, mandates reducing ToD charges from 25% to 15% for LT industries (III-B) during peak hours.

Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSECL) has invited bids for a detailed feasibility report (DFR) and detailed project report for a 500 MW solar park in Gujarat. The last date for submission of bids is December 25, 2023. Bids will be opened on December 31. GSECL plans to develop a 500 MW solar park at Great Rann of Harsad, Banaskantha. The specific location for the park will only be disclosed upon the finalization of the tender with the winning bidder.

Eastern Railway has invited bids to install a 1.125 MW grid-connected rooftop solar power project without battery backup at its Howrah Division in West Bengal. The last date for the submission of bids is January 1, 2024. Bids will be opened the same day. The project will be in addition to and connected with the 2.2 MW rooftop solar project recently retendered. The scope extends to installing, testing, and commissioning solar modules on the rooftops of buildings, shed tops of station platforms, coaching yards, workshops, and all associated works.

The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has invited expressions of interest to set up 40 MW of decentralized grid-connected ground/stilt-mounted solar power projects under component A of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan program. The projects will be developed on barren/uncultivable and agricultural land falling within a radius of five kilometers from substations notified by UHBVN. They must have capacities varying from 500 kW to 2 MW and be connected to 33/11 kV, 66/11 kV, and 132/11 kV substations.

Indian Railways has initiated the process of building a hydrogen production and refueling station in Jind, Haryana, to supply the country’s first-ever hydrogen train under the Hydrogen for Heritage initiative. The pilot project will involve retrofitting the Diesel Electric Multiple Unit rake on the Sonipat-Jind section from a diesel to a hydrogen-powered train. Under the initiative, Indian Railways plans to operate 35 hydrogen trains, the first of which will operate on the 89-kilometer stretch between Jind and Sonipat, with an expected flag-off date in 2024.

The Ethanol Blended Petrol program by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has saved public sector Oil Marketing Companies ~5.09 billion liters of petrol during the Ethanol Supply Year 2022-23. This resulted in savings of ₹243 billion (~$ 2.914 billion) of foreign exchange and expeditious payment of ₹193 billion (~$ 2.313 billion) to farmers. The Minister of State in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Rameswar Teli, shared the information in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

Aluminum manufacturer Hindalco Industries will set up a ₹8 billion (~$95 million) plant near Sambalpur in Odisha to exponentially increase its manufacturing capacity of aluminum foil used in rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems. The company, which is a subsidiary of the Aditya Birla Group, expects to initially produce 25,000 tons of the foil widely used in lithium-ion and sodium-ion cells. The project will be powered by a 25 MW solar power project and access additional solar energy from a 400 kV national grid connection.

The U.S. installed 6.5 GWdc of solar power project capacity in the third quarter of 2023, a 35% year-over-year increase and a 1% rise from the previous quarter, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Q4 2023 report by Wood Mackenzie and Solar Energy Industries Association. While there is a moderate lag in module supply for the utility-scale segment, the sector experienced a recovery in installation volume due to increased imports, the report said. Solar accounted for 48% of all new power capacity added to the US grid in the first nine months of 2023. Cumulative installed solar capacity now stands at 161 GWdc.