Open-access solar installations up 68% in Q1 2023

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India installed 518 MW of new open-access solar capacity in the first three months of 2023, over 68% up from 308 MW installed in Q4 2022—according to Mercom India’s Q1 2023 Solar Open Access Market Report. Installations were down 37% year-over-year (YoY).

In Q1 2023, Karnataka remained the leading state, accounting for over 55% of capacity additions, followed by Maharashtra (14%) and Tamil Nadu (8%). 

As of March 2023, open-access solar projects in the pipeline stood at 6.4 GW. Over 68% of the pipeline was spread across Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat.

Open-access solar project costs decreased in Q1 2023 following the module price reduction over the previous quarter and increased imports after the government relaxed the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) mandate. The report said lower project costs made the power purchase agreement (PPA) prices attractive.

Commercial and Industrial (C&I) entities with renewable purchase obligations (RPO) also drove capacity additions during the quarter.

As of March 31, 2023, the cumulative installed solar open-access capacity reached 8.3 GW.

Karnataka remained the top state, accounting for over 37% of cumulative solar open access capacity as of March 2023. Maharashtra made up over 12% of total installations.

“Despite regulatory challenges in many states, open-access solar demand continues from industries and commercial units keen on reducing their energy costs and locking in tariffs for the long term. With most state DISCOMs raising retail tariffs and the solar project costs declining, we could see growth continuing in the next few quarters,” said Priya Sanjay, managing director at Mercom India.

The report offers a detailed analysis of the solar open access segment in seventeen states, including open access charges, retail supply tariffs, and market size.

 

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