Daily News Wrap-Up: Regulators Urged to Comply with Green Energy Open Access Rules

Rajasthan’s tender for 347 MW solar projects under the KUSUM program

May 17, 2023


The Ministry of Power has instructed state electricity regulatory commissions (SERCs) to comply with the Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Rules and align their states’ Open Access Regulations with the notified rules. The ministry’s directive comes in the wake of the piecemeal implementation of the green tariff rules only by a few states. In states where they have been implemented, the tariffs are significantly higher than the procurement cost of renewable energy, which violates the rules. The SERCs must report their compliance by May 28, 2023.

Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam has invited bids for the installation and commissioning of 347 MW of grid-connected solar projects under Component C of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan program. The successful bidder must undertake the projects’ operation and maintenance for 25 years from the commercial operation date. The projects will be developed under the renewable energy service company model.

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation is seeking bids for the engineering, procurement, and construction of two grid-connected ground-mounted solar power projects in Delhi. The projects include a 4.2 MW solar project in Pitampura for Tata Power and a 5 MW solar project in Moti Nagar for BSES Rajdhani under group or virtual net-metering policy. The projects should be completed within six months of receiving the work order. The contractor must also provide comprehensive operation and maintenance for ten years.

Indian solar module manufacturing was dealt a severe blow when earlier this year, the government put the operation of the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers in abeyance for a year until March 31, 2024. At the recent Mercom India Renewables Summit 2023, we talked to Prashant Mathur, CEO of Saatvik Green Energy, a module manufacturer. He spoke on a range of issues relating to the Indian module manufacturing industry and what he expects from the government on the policy front.

NLC India has invited bids to select a qualified coordinating agency to provide forecasting, scheduling, and deviation settlement mechanism for 1,400 MW of solar and wind power projects at various places in Tamil Nadu. The last date to submit the bids is June 6, 2023. Bids will be opened on the same day. Bidders must submit ₹220,000 (~$2,674) as an earnest money deposit.

Global private investment firm Ardian has agreed to sell its renewable portfolio, comprising 12 wind farms of 422 MW and hybrid photovoltaic projects of 435 MW, to Spain-based energy group Naturgy. The wind farms were commissioned between 2005 and 2012 in different regions across Spain. The hybrid photovoltaic farms are currently being developed as part of a project in Spain, maximizing the quality of connection points and stabilizing the energy production of the assets once hybridized.

U.S.-based solar module manufacturer First Solar has acquired Evolar AB, a Sweden-based company focused on perovskite technology, for an initial payment of around $38 million. There is an agreement for a potential additional payment of up to $42 million based on future technical milestones. This strategic move is expected to propel the advancement of next-generation solar technology, particularly high-efficiency tandem devices.

The Ministry of Finance, Maldives, on behalf of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Technology, has invited bids to select developers to install 20 MW of grid-connected solar power projects across the country’s 20 inhabited islands under a design, build, own, operate, maintain, and transfer basis. The project will be developed under a public-private partnership.

Solar, wind, and battery energy storage systems projects in the United States will be eligible for a bonus credit of 10% of the project cost if they meet domestic manufacturing requirements under the Inflation Reduction Act. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service recently released new guidelines for the domestic content bonus. The project must have a maximum net output of less than 1 MW and must have begun construction before January 29, 2023.

Norway-based polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon‘s net loss widened to $34.4 million for the first quarter of the financial year 2022 compared to the net loss of $8.6 million year-over-year (YoY), primarily due to a drop in sales owing to a slowdown in the semiconductor market. During the quarter, the company’s total polysilicon production dropped 38% YoY to 244 metric tons (MT). Its polysilicon sales declined to 183 MT, down 36% YoY.