The government’s production-linked incentives scheme for gigawatt-scale manufacturing of high-efficiency solar modules has received bids for an overwhelming 54.8 GW of capacity with participation from existing manufacturers and new players alike. Out of the total 18 bidders, half are new to solar manufacturing.
In the shortlist, Adani Infrastructure, Jindal India Solar, Reliance New Energy, and Shirdi Sai Electricals are the highest scorers with each of them winning 100 marks—owing to the fact they offered full extent of integration up to polysilicon manufacturing stage (50 marks) and a maximum capacity of 4 GW each (another 50 marks). USA-based thin-film module First Solar is also a strong contender with 90 marks (50 marks awarded for full integration plus 40 marks for 3 GW proposed capacity).
Also on the shortlist are Coal India Limited, CubicPV, Larsen and Toubro, and ReNew Power, which submitted bids for module fabs integrated up to ingots-wafers manufacturing from outsourced polysilicon. And Avaada Energy, Acme Solar, Emmvee PV, Jupiter Solar, Megha Engineering, Premier Energies, Tata Power Solar, Vikram Solar, and Waaree Energies as bidders for cell and module manufacturing (please see the below chart released by JMK Research).
“The bidder/manufacturer getting higher marks will get preference in the allocation of manufacturing capacity under the PLI scheme. In case of equal marks, the bidder/manufacturer quoting the least total PLI amount for five years’ period, followed by a higher ‘Extent of integration’ followed by higher ‘Manufacturing Capacity,’ will get priority in the selection,” as per the PLI bid document.
The shortlisted applicants will lodge bids based on the level of PLI funding they will require for five years after their planned factories are commissioned.
The maximum incentive to a single manufacturer will be tied to 2 GW of its annual production capacity or half of the planned output of its facility, whichever is lower. That cap will ensure at least three solar manufacturers can benefit from the INR4,500 crore pot.
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Just under $210 million USD per factory if evenly divided. There is another way to make solar PV, and that much money might pay for a 30 to 60 GWh per year factory that starts with minerals and a substrate in one end, and puts out over 2 times competitors’ efficiency solar thin film at the other end, or side. Would anyone like to talk? Government?
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