India is currently mulling over a plan for a 100GW solar tender to be linked with manufacturing, but with no timeframe put down as yet.
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) secretary Anand Kumar, while speaking to PV Tech at a side event at Intersolar Europe in Munich, Germany, said that the capacity of manufacturing is yet to be decided upon, but he confirmed the announcement of power minister R.K. Singh from an event in Delhi earlier this week.
Kumar said the idea so far floated is to bid out the 100GW capacity all in one go and for the projects to be connected to the Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) in a pan-India manner. This is a vastly ambitious scheme, given that India has been incrementally working towards a huge target of 100GW of solar overall by 2022 and with many trials and tribulations on the way. Kumar did, however, hint that the power minister will soon be unveling another enormous solar target for 2030, in which the 100GW tender could fit in.
2018 has seen India focus less on its solar park initiative and more on standalone ISTS projects for which there are multiple gigawatts of tenders already out. Unlike solar parks, these projects require the developer to acquire land, secure transmission connectivity and take on other risks. This week the Ministry of Power granted solar procurers the option of extending financial close, land acquisition and project completion timeframes to give developers more time to overcome these difficult challenges.
The announcement comes shortly after Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) issued a tender for 5GW of PV manufacturing in India to be linked with 10GW of solar project development. This is due to be opened in July, added Kumar.
The PV IndiaTech 2020 conference will continue to bring together all key domestic and overseas stakeholders, including government bodies, investors, and the leading companies today from manufacturing to O&M and asset management. To thrive globally as a major PV power beyond 2020, India has to succeed in unlocking its potential both to manufacture and to lay claim to quality utility-scale solar farms that are providing high returns on investment to site owners.