Because of high local demand for renewable energy, Uttar Pradesh, with the highest population of all India’s states, plans to tender bids for another 500 MW of solar power output by October 31.
This comes on top of the existing 500 MW solar capacity previous tendered by the Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA). That was oversubscribed by 250 MW, showing the strong demand for solar energy in the area.
There was also a previous 1 GW total capacity tendered to date. That too was oversubscribed, by 800 MW. The program was unfortunately canceled because of high tariffs. But Indian energy officials have confirmed the high tariff problem has been resolved.
According to Alok Kumar, principal secretary, Department of Energy and Additional Sources of Energy, in a recent interview, “Initially we were doing the power purchase agreement (PPA). Now we have changed the commercial arrangement and made Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) the intermediate procurer so that the tariff is lower. SECI will have the PPA with the selected developer and sell power to us back to back.”
This is all part of the need for up to 20 GW of electricity power generation every day in Uttar Pradesh. Only 7% of that is currently supplied by renewable energy, but that is about to change. According to a recent interview with Alok Verma, vice president, utility-scale business at Amplus, “The UP government is keen to increase this share with a conducive policy framework, which is a welcome move. It plans to add 2,767 MW of grid-connected renewable energy and around 58.6 MW through off-grid projects up to FY 19.”
The demand should only grow for this and future solar power tenders in the country. This is in part because, according to Brajesh Pathak, Minister of Additional Energy Sources, “The UP government has provided single window online clearance of rooftop solar. We have also provided 100% stamp duty exemption on land bought for setting up solar energy plants. Additionally, UP is providing 50% concession on charges on solar electricity sold within the state and 100% concession on solar electricity sold outside the state.” Pathak went on to say in a separate set of comments that, “Every house should install a 5KW rooftop panel and reap the returns. Lucknow alone has 700 km of rooftops, which can be used for solar energy generation.”
That and the region’s rapid business growth represents a major opportunity both for solar energy providers of solutions such as rooftop solar and for homeowners and businesses.
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