Daily News-Wrap Up: Amp Energy India Wins CESC’s 150 MW Hybrid Tender

Strict financing rules & penalties for non-payment improve DISCOMs’ performance

May 12, 2023


Amp Energy India won the Kolkata-based power utility company CESC’s auction to develop 150 MW of the interstate transmission system-connected wind-solar hybrid projects. Amp quoted a tariff of ₹3.07 (~$0.037)/kWh to emerge as the winner. The tender was floated in February this year.

Stricter regulations around financing, severe penalties for non-payment of dues, mandatory energy accounting, and auditing are the driving factors behind the considerable improvement in the otherwise sluggish performance of state distribution companies over the past year. The Ministry of Power recently published data notifying a considerable decline in Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses and the gap between the Average Cost of Supply and Average Realizable Revenue, the key indicators of DISCOMs’ performance.

With the Damocles’ sword of the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism hanging over Indian exporters, the government is planning to seek validation of its proposed carbon certificates and the exemption for some micro, medium, and small enterprises. According to a PTI report, officials of Finance, Commerce, Power, Mines and Steel, and industry representatives met this week to discuss the strategy to counter the EU’s move to subject imports to a carbon tax of up to 35% starting in 2026.

The Revenue Department, Government of Gujarat, has issued the ‘Policy 2023’ for leasing out land to foster the growth of green hydrogen production in the state. The policy aims to provide the framework for promoting green hydrogen production by using renewable energy to make the best use of land and achieve the objective of a clean environment. As per the policy, the lease period for installing solar, wind, and wind-solar hybrid projects for green hydrogen production will be 40 years.

Plug Power, a U.S.-based hydrogen fuel cell company, said its net loss widened to $206.6 million for the first quarter of the financial year 2023, compared to $156.5 million as the margins were squeezed by higher hydrogen molecule costs caused by elevated natural gas prices and supply chain disruptions. Additionally, the company’s fixed costs rose during the quarter due to the ongoing production ramp at their new manufacturing facilities.

Utility-scale solar tracker company Array Technologies swung to a profit of $13.6 million for the first quarter of the financial year 2023 from a loss of $37.5 million year-over-year, mainly on higher shipment of its products at a higher average selling price due to improved pass-through pricing. The company’s revenue rose 25% YoY to $376.8 million for January-March.

U.S.-based solar tracker systems provider FTC Solar’s net loss narrowed to $11.8 million for the first quarter of the financial year (FY) 2023 from $27.8 million year-over-year (YoY) despite a decline in revenue because the cost of revenue associated with engineering services saw a sharper cut. The cost reduction was accompanied by a 17.5% YoY drop in total revenue at $40.9 million, mainly driven by lower logistics volume, partially offset by higher product average selling price.

Manufacturer of electrical balance of system components (EBOS) Shoals Technologies Group’s net income jumped over five-fold year-over-year (YoY) to $14.3 million in the first quarter (Q1) of the financial year (FY) 2023 due to increased demand for solar EBOS generally, and the company’s system solutions specifically. The company’s revenue rose 55% YoY at $105.1 million during January-March.

Researchers from the City University of Hong Kong have invented a multifunctional, non-volatile additive that can regulate the growth of perovskite films and improve the efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells. During the experiments, the new additive boosted power conversion efficiency, reaching 24.8%, with an overall energy loss of 0.36 eV.