NTPC tenders land and transmission package for 2.4 GW solar projects

State-owned National Thermal Power Corporation has floated tenders to develop inter-state transmission system (ISTS)-connected solar projects in Andhra Pradesh with greenshoe options: a 900 MW solar project in Kurnool, with an additional 300 MW greenshoe option and a 900 MW solar project in Anantapur, with a 300 MW greenshoe option, Mercom reported. Green shoe is additional capacity of power procured to meet the Renewable Purchase Obligation and the Energy Storage Obligation. Developers need to arrange land at 5 acres/ MW) on either a freehold or leasehold basis near an ISTS substation for 30 years, make the approach road to the pooling substation, including any interconnection between plots by self or through the state machinery.

India: CEA pitches for EVs to support national power grid

India’s Central Electricity Authority has proposed a targeted strategy to incorporate electric vehicles in the national power grid and its balancing. Earlier this year, the CEA was tasked by the Ministry of Power with framing guidelines for reverse charging of the grid through EVs. The CEA thereafter formed an expert committee comprising members from premier academic institutions, discoms and stakeholders in the EV ecosystem. The proposal, which came through a report on vehicle-to-grid services prepared by the CEA with the help of this committee, outlines how smart charging can unlock the grid stabilisation potential of idle EVs by offering increased flexibility for peak shaving and load balancing.

International Solar Alliance increases VGF for solar projects to 35%

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) increased Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for solar projects in developing countries from 10% to 35% of the project cost. ISA previously provided a grant of $150,000 or 10% of the project cost. The VGF would largely be used in the developing and underdeveloped nations of Africa and South America, TOI reported. The move is expected to attract private players. 

The VGF includes ISA Fund with insurance and payment security, green funds promised by developed countries as per COP21 commitments if the ISA establishes the required infrastructure, and private sector Investment.

Lithium supply chain diversifies: US and India make headway in search for suppliers

The United States’ search for alternatives to Chinese-dominated supply chains for materials critical to energy transition has finally yielded fruit. The Ewoyaa lithium project in Ghana represents one of the first dents made by American investors in the existing lithium supply chain. “Our investment in Ewoyaa will help alleviate potential future US supply constraints and provide crucial resources to help reduce America’s dependence on foreign nations, like China,” the chief executive of one of the companies involved told Bloomberg recently, while crediting the US’s Inflation Reduction Act with the decision to invest in lithium production.

Meanwhile, India has set its sights on South America for its lithium requirements. India’s Ministry of Mines is reportedly in talks with the governments of Chile and Bolivia for access to their respective lithium reserves. “While a ‘decision is pending’ on acquisition of blocks in Argentina, for Chile the Mines Ministry is on-course to sign non-disclosure agreements (with the government there), identify mines and blocks, explore prospecting opportunities, among other factors. In Bolivia, the Ministry is looking at downstream tie-ups, wherein it will facilitate EV battery making and processing set-ups by Indian companies who will invest in the South American nation,” reports The Hindu Businessline.

India increases RE usage for DISCOMS, others to 43.33% by 2024-25

India issued a notification on renewable energy consumption for discoms, open access and captive power consumers. The new norms specify minimum share of consumption of non-fossil sources by the obligated consumers. The target of consumption of total power from non-fossil fuel power by the end of 2024-25, has been increased to 43.33 percent, from 29.91 percent, Saur Energy reported. The new norms allow consumers to use hydro power and buy Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to meet the shortfalls. 

SJVN wraps up 1.5 GW renewables, storage tender with $0.053/kWh tariff

Indian state-run hydropower producer SJVN (Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam)  allocated 1.18 GW (of 1.5 GW) renewables storage tender for an average price of $0.053/kWh, PV magazine reported adding that seven Indian developers secured the bids. Acme Solar won 250 MW. Juniper Green and Tata Power Renewable secured 200 MW each. The other winners include ReNew (184 MW), Solarcraft Power (150 MW), Hero Future Energies (120 MW), and TEQ Green/O2 Power (80 MW).

The winners are required to supply the contracted amount of firm and dispatchable power from renewable power projects with energy storage systems. The projects can be built anywhere in India and should connect to the interstate transmission grid. SJVN will sign 25-year power purchase agreements with the successful bidders. The power will be sold to different buying entities across India.

Haryana’s Draft Solar Policy Targets 6 GW Capacity by 2030

Haryana is aiming to instal 6 GW of solar power by 2030: 3.2 GW ground-mounted capacity, 1.6 GW rooftop solar, and 1.2 GW of solar irrigation pumps, according to its recently released Draft Haryana Solar Power Policy 2023. 

There will be no capacity restriction for those setting up projects for their own consumption. These projects can be situated anywhere in India, and the generated power can be transmitted via open access, Mercom reported, adding that the draft backs large-scale solar projects on canal tops, banks, and other water bodies. The government can lease panchayat land for 30 years to set up projects.  Eligible consumers can install rooftop systems of capacity not surpassing the target capacity set by the government. Haryana has a maximum cumulative capacity of 500 MW for rooftop solar systems.

According to the outlet, utility-scale projects will not require any changes in land use approval; they are also exempt from External Development Charges (EDC), scrutiny fees, and infrastructure development charges. Last December Delhi government  draft solar policy set up 6 GW solar target by 2025 expecting solar energy share in annual electricity demand to jump to 25% from 9%. Uttar Pradesh approved an increase in its target to 22 GW of solar capacity by FY 2026-27, Mercom reported.