MNRE Proposes Reducing Commissioning Timelines for Solar Projects

Proposal aims to help country reach its target of 100 GW of solar capacity


A proposal has been made once again to amend the competitive bidding guidelines for the procurement of power from grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. This time around, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) proposed reductions in the commissioning timelines of solar projects in an effort to facilitate the timely achievement of the country’s target of 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022.

According to the document reviewed by Mercom, solar PV projects inside a solar park have a proposed commissioning timeline of 15 months from the date of power purchase agreement (PPA). Nine months will be provided for financial closure and six months for construction of the project.

For solar PV projects outside of a solar park or for standalone solar PV projects, an 18-month project commissioning timeframe has been proposed; 12 months for financial closure and six months for construction.

These proposals are in contradiction to the previous amendment put forward by the government’s Ministry of Power,  under which the commissioning timeframe for projects of capacity below 250 MW was increased from 13 months to 21 months from the date of PPA execution. The timeframe of commissioning of projects of capacity 250 MW and above outside a solar park was increased from 15 months to 24 months from the date of PPA execution.

It is noteworthy that India has achieved yet another milestone in installed solar capacity. The country recently marked 25 GW of installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, according to Mercom India Research. In the past seven months, over 5 GW of solar PV capacity has been installed in India, including both large-scale and rooftop solar.

In May 2018, the MNRE  amended the guidelines for the selection of solar power park developers (SPPDs) through tariff-based competitive bidding process. The MNRE amended the guidelines to bring more transparency in the selection of SPPDs for the development of solar parks.

Image credit: Adani