Total installed PV capacity in the Indian state of Rajasthan has passed 500MW, reaching 510.25MW at the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year.

According to Rajasthan Renewable Energy (RREC), the agency responsible for implementing solar policy in Rajasthan, the state added 5MW of grid-connected PV in fiscal year 2010-2011, 191MW in 2011-2012 and then jumped by 314MW in the most recent fiscal year (see image 2).

Hari Manoharan, analyst at Indian consultancy RESolve, attributes this “boom” phase beginning in late 2011 to early 2013 to projects commissioned under phase 1 of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), India's national solar programme.

Fewer than 50% of projects were completed under phase I of JNNSM. Bids for Phase II have been delayed up to the end of April or beginning of May.

Manoharan said additional installed capacity this year would be driven predominantly by Rajasthan’s Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) programme. Approximately 70MW has been added under REC so far in 2013.

“It is likely that this trend will continue into 2013, with additional projects coming up under the REC mechanism and further capacity additions coming up under the recently announced state solar policy,” said Manoharan.

Commissioned projects range in size from 100kW to 40MW, and over half of the installed capacity is located in the Jodhpur district. Rajasthan has the second most grid-connected installed PV capacity of any Indian state.

The neighbouring state of Gujarat had over 824MW of installed solar capacity at the end of December 2012. In a separate development, RREC announced that seven solar projects totalling 75MW have been awarded contracts under the first phase of the state’s tariff-based competitive bidding solar program.

Under a second phase, RREC intends to allocate an additional 400 MW of solar capacity.