In an effort to boost India’s slumping PV market, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SEIC) is planning to construct a 1GW PV factory in Andhra Pradesh state.
Local press reported that the project is expected to be built on a 2,023 hectare site in the Mahboobnagar district of the state and is expected to be operational in 18 to 24 months.
Rajendra Nimje, managing director of SECI, told Bloomberg that the project will not only include a solar energy plant, but also factories to produce modules and cells, and facilities to train workers in the renewable energy field.
Nimje also said that both SECI and the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) will hold auctions in order to award the 1GW of potential solar power capacity to developers.
The bidding process is expected to further raise tensions between India and the United States, as both nations are already embroiled in a trade dispute regarding India’s solar procurement rules.
In the latest round of bidding for India’s national solar mission (JNNSM), half of the 750MW up for auction had a domestic content requirement (DCR), meaning that solar energy developers are required to use Indian-manufactured equipment in the construction and development of PV facilities in the country.
In response, the US requested that the World Trade Organization (WTO) investigate India's new bidding requirements, stating that the DCR rule discriminates against US products.
Michael Froman, US trade representative, said: “These unfair requirements are against WTO rules, and we are standing up today for the rights of American workers and businesses…We also take this action in support of the rapid global deployment of renewable energy. These types of ‘localisation’ measures not only are an unfair barrier to US exports, but also raise the cost of solar energy, hindering deployment of solar energy around the world, including in India.”