New Delhi: The power ministry has compressed timelines for executing solar power projects by six months to 15 months for those in solar parks and to 18 months for the plants elsewhere, to expedite capacity installations of the clean energy source in the country.
India has set an ambitious target of having 100 GW of solar energy by 2022. The country has about 26 GW of solar energy capacities, including rooftop solar. The government has set a target of bidding out 34 GW capacities the current financial year and 30 GW in 2019-20.
The projects that are being set up in solar park shall be commissioned within 15 months from the date of execution of the power purchase agreement (PPA), while for the projects being installed elsewhere, the timeline is within 18 months, according to the latest amendments in solar projects bidding guidelines.
Earlier, the deadline for execution of solar power projects outside a solar park with a capacity of 250 MW and above was 24 months. This project-completion timeline was 21 months for the projects in the solar park.
The guidelines also provide that any delay beyond the scheduled commissioning period shall involve penalties on the solar power generator, as detailed out in PPA.
Industry body Solar Power Developers Association (SPDA) stated in a recent submission to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy: “In case of CTU (central transmission utility)-connected projects, which are outside solar park, the commissioning timeline shall be minimum 24 months from execution of PPA.” The government has set a target for installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, which includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from biomass and 5 GW from small hydro power projects.
According to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), a cumulative renewable energy capacity of 73.35 GW had been installed in the country till October 31, 2018, with 21.55 GW under various stages of installation and 25.21 GW in various stages of bidding.
To achieve the remaining target of 101.65 GW, an investment of about Rs 5.12 lakh crore has been estimated.