Big plans: The scheme will add about 10,750 circuit kilometres of transmission lines, for projects in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, among other states | Photo: NS Energy

India to invest $1.61 billion to link 20 GW of RE to grid by 2025

The Cabinet approved a plan to build transmission lines costing $1.61 billion over 5 years to link 20 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy projects from seven states with the grid, Reuters reported. The Centre will provide financial assistance equal to about a third of the overall Rs120-billion investment required for the expansion of transmission lines in the second phase of the so called green corridor project. 

The scheme will add about 10,750 circuit kilometres of transmission lines, for projects in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. India  is building 9,700 circuit kilometers of transmission lines in the first phase of the project to be completed this year.

ICRA: India to add 16GW of RE by FY 2023

According to ratings agency ICRA India’s RE capacity is expected to touch 16 GW in FY 2023 which the country will achieve with 55 GW of projects in pipeline with highly competitive tariffs. RE capacity addition may increase from 7.4 GW reported in FY’2021 to 12.5 GW in FY 2023.

Solar energy will drive the capacity additions in 2022-23 with 12.5GW coming from PV projects. Wind projects may add 2.2GW and hybrid plants 1.4GW, PV Magazine reported. Experts pointed out that developers are able to secure solar modules within budget and a cost of debt funding of less than 8.5% remained important to make new clean power projects viable.

According to Bridge to India report India may add 10 GW renewable energy capacity in 2022 down 10% year-on-year.

Rajasthan invites bids to solarise 17 agricultural feeders under KUSUM scheme

Rajasthan DISCOM Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (JdVVNL) has finvited bids for the solarization of 17 agricultural feeders of the Nosar and the Dera substation. The first tender of 8.57 MW of solar power projects and the associated 33 kV line is for the solarization of 12 agricultural feeders of the Nosar substation under Component C of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program. The projects will cover 262 agricultural consumers. The project’s estimated cost is ₹299.95 million (~$4.05 million).

The winner will have to furnish an amount of ₹4.285 million (~$57,808) as a performance bank guarantee. The developer will get central financial assistance at 30% of the estimated cost of installing  The  second  tender includes bids to solarize five 11 kV feeders of the Dera substation in the Jodhpur for 188 agricultural consumers. The project’s estimated cost is ₹120.75 million (~$1.63 million). As a performance bank guarantee, the successful bidder will have to furnish ₹1.725 million (~$23,272).

Solar imports to face Basic Custom Duty from April 1;  Rajasthan regulator orders refund

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman said India will impose basic custom duty (BCD) on solar imports from April 1, 2022, according to Indian Solar Manufacturers Association and industry body NIMMA. The members of domestic manufacturers groups recently met the minister to raise concerns over the current duty-free window.

Meanwhile, The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission ruled that the increase in rates of basic customs duty (BCD) on import of solar inverters along with integrated Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Social Welfare Surcharge is a ‘Change in Law’ event which, therefore, amounts paid towards BCD is refundable to solar project developers at the rate they have secured long-term capital loans.

The state regulator directed Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and distribution companies (DISCOMs) to make monthly annuity payments for 15 years. The discount rate of annuity payments should be 9% towards the solar power developer’s incurred expenditure due to the ‘Change in Law’ event.