Israel-based Ecoppia has partnered with SB Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., to deploy 2,000 robots across its five sites in the Bhadla Phase III and IV Solar Park Project in Rajasthan, India. This announcement follows its recent completion of large-scale deployments with ENGIE and Ostro Power (Actis Group) in the Bhadla park. pv magazine speaks to Ecoppia CEO Eran Meller about the project.
Despite this, at least half the companies among the top 10 – in terms of shares of projects sanctioned – changed every year between 2014 and 2017. International independent power producers (IPPs) accounted for around 45% of the sanctioned projects in solar parks. Around 35% of the park projects were awarded to IPPs registered in Mauritius, where companies benefit from preferential taxation.
The projects are to be developed on a build-own-operate basis for an aggregate capacity of 2,500 MW. The eligible bid capacity is 200-500 MW, with a project capacity of at least 50 MW at one project site. The maximum tariff payable to each project developer is fixed at Rs 2.93/kWh for the entire term of 25 years.
India saw 1.8 GW of corporate solar power purchase agreements in place by the end of 2017. There was a rush of installations for PV projects due to open access waivers. The market is expected to contract slightly this year as waivers are rolled back, but there will be sustained market growth through 2023.
Waaree Energies has set up a 1 GW solar PV panel plant in Vapi, which is in addition to its existing 500 MW plant in Surat, Gujarat. The company intends to further increase capacity to 2 GW. Among other key developments, it has partnered with third-party equipment suppliers to manufacture batteries
With this investment, the company plans to more than double its manufacturing capacity of tempered solar glass from 180 tonnes per day to 400 tonnes by 2020. Currently, it meets 30% of India’s demand for solar glass. With the expansion, it aims to become the market leader by catering to about 60-70%.
While news of Japan’s SoftBank announcing up to USD 60-100 billion investment in India’s solar PV power generation is creating ripples across the industry circles, industry analysts feel that the committment sounds unrealistic in view of India’s current PV market status and future needs.
India saw the issuance of 13 new utility-scale solar PV tenders totaling 11,945 MW in the quarter ending March 31, 2018, which is 68% more than in the entire of 2017. However, tender capacity for rooftop solar PV (greater than 1 MW in size) was down 50%, at 102 MW.
The first order for installing a 20 MW PV power plant has been placed by Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited (GACL), while the other, for a 10 MW PV power plant, has been received from the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (GSFC). Both of the solar PV power plants will be installed at the Gujarat Solar Park in Charanka, Gujarat.
Continuation of the programme will help India to achieve additional 118 MWp off-grid solar PV capacity by 2020. The total project (including solar street lights, standalone solar PV plants and solar study lamps) will cost Rs 18.95 billion, of which Rs 6.37 billion will be provided as central financial assistance
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