India-based WAAREE Energies, a specialist in the manufacture of PV modules and a provider of EPC and support for PV plants, has been awarded another turnkey EPC contract for a 5MW PV plant in Gujarat, India, from US solar project developer Avatar Solar.
Just last month the Indian PV module specialist announced that it had received a contract to construct a 5.75MW thin-film solar PV plant in Latur, Maharashtra, India, for Shree Saibaba sugar factory.
This latest project will be located in Gujarat Solar Park at Charanka, Patan, Gujarat. The electricity generated by this plant will be supplied to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL). No other details have been revealed.
According to Hitesh Doshi, chairman of WAAREE Group, the 5MW PV project will “open new avenues for us in foreign market”.
However, news of this latest project comes as the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) throws accusations that US thin-film manufacturers are using a loop hole in the Indian government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) initiative to destroy the Indian domestic PV industry. The JNNSM initiative mandates a domestic content requirement only for crystalline PV but not for thin-film.
According to the CSE, “Close to 60% of panels installed in India are thin-film even though only 14% of global capacity is thin-film.”
The US has so far loaned US$26.8 million to India under its fast start finance option which encourages overseas private development. However, the CSE's deputy director general, Chandra Bhushan, claims that the US is using this fund to promote its own solar manufacturing. Under the scheme, it offers “low-interest loans Indian solar project developers on the mandatory condition that they buy the equipment, solar panels and cells from US companies. This has distorted the market completely in favour of US companies.”
Chandra Bhushan continues and adds that the US has “managed to turn it into a game” and has benefited from the scheme while “knocking out the Indian manufacturing competition that doesn't have the same government backing”.