Solar Open Access Installations Rise by 143% YoY in 9M 2021 With 935 MW Added

The cumulative installed solar open access capacity touched 4.8 GW at the end of September


India’s solar open access installations totaled 307 MW in the third quarter (Q3) of 2021, an 85% year-over-year (YoY) increase compared to 166 MW in the same period last year, according to Mercom’s India Solar Open Access Market Report Q3 2021.

During 9M 2021, nearly 935 MW of open access solar capacity was installed, marking an increase of 143% compared to 385 MW during 9M 2020.

The pipeline of solar open access projects under development and pre-construction is estimated to be 1.1 GW.

As of September 2021, the cumulative installed solar capacity in the open access market was 4.8 GW.

Annual Solar Open Access Installations (MW)

In October, the power crisis triggered by depleting coal stocks in thermal plants across the country came as a wake-up call for the commercial & industrial (C&I) segment to opt for alternative sources of power procurement. Solar open access is the most attractive option due to its lower cost while being green power.

Open access installations picked up in the second half of the year after the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the report said that the pace slowed because of the rise in raw materials prices and the hike in goods and services tax (GST).

According to the report, Uttar Pradesh led the way with most installations, accounting for 35% of the total projects installed during the quarter. Tamil Nadu also showed significant growth of 381% QoQ in installations due to the state’s favorable regulatory framework and tariff structure.

Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka were the other states among the top five.

Top 5 States - Solar Open Access Installations in Q3 2021 (%)

In Q3 2021, the top five states accounted for about 96% of open access installations.

Karnataka led the way in cumulative installations, with Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra making up the top five.

“The demand for procuring renewables in the open access market is increasing every quarter, indicating the market’s high potential. Corporates are trying to match their power demands through renewable sources. Commercial and industrial (C&I) establishments across the board are sourcing solar through open access to meet their commitment to sourcing renewables and mitigating climate change,” commented Priya Sanjay, Managing Director at Mercom India.

The report states that developers insist on uniform regulations across the state and log-term policies without retrospective changes. Issues like banking of renewable energy and withdrawal process are not covered appropriately in the tariff orders or the open access regulations. As a result, developers face uncertainty and have to file petitions.

The report also gives an insight into the short-term transactions, such as the day-ahead market (DAM), bilateral contracts, real-time market (RTM), and the green-term ahead market (GTAM) within the open access space.

Key Highlights from Mercom India Research’s India Solar open Access Market Report Q3 2021:

  • In Q3 2021, India added 307 MW of solar open access capacity, a 47% increase compared to 209 MW in Q2 2021
  • The installations were up by 85% YoY compared to 166 MW installed in Q3 2020
  • During 9M 2021, 935 MW of open access solar was installed, a 143% increase compared to 385 MW installed during 9M 2020
  • As of September 2021, the cumulative installed solar capacity in the open access market was 4.8 GW
  • In Q3 2021, 35% of the installations were in Uttar Pradesh
  • Tamil Nadu was the second largest state in terms of open access installations in Q3 2021, followed by Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka
  • As of September 2021, the top five states accounted for 72% of the country’s total open access solar installations

‘Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report Q3 2021’ covers vital information and data on the market. For the complete report, visit: