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Sahara India Power is keen to develop a 200 mw solar and wind power plant in Odisha’a Bolangir district. The company had initially planned to set a 1320 mw thermal power plant at the site.

The solar park will come up over 990 acres of land.

“Sahara India Power Corporation has plans to develop Solar and Wind Power Plant of the capacity of 200 mw which will be developed in 1 to 4 phases with the investment of Rs 10 billion at Titlaghar, Bolangir district, Odisha”, said the company in an email.

Thermal power plant earlier proposed at the site is not viable, hence, we have suspended the plan, the company further stated.

“In the first phase, Sahara Power is keen to develop 50 mw and the balance capacity of the proposed 200 mw will be set up subsequently.

However, we have no idea whether a site allocated for a different purpose can be used for developing the solar park”, said a government official.

However, the company has requisite amount of land to develop a solar park. They have only come up with the idea, but no proposal has been submitted yet in this regard, he added.

Sahara India Power had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Odisha government on February 7, 2009 and also a supplementary MoU on April 9, 2010 for change of site to Titilagarh tehsil since the original site was not found to be suitable.

The pact was for setting up of two 660 mw super critical units at a cost of Rs 9,000 crore.

Out of 991 acres of land required for the development of the 1320 mw project, the company has been allotted 74 acres and 392 acres of government and private land respectively by the state nodal land acquisition agency.


Four firms — Azure Power, Acme Solar Holdings, Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited (GSECL) and Kalthia Engineering and Construction Ltd — have bagged contracts for solar power supply to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL).

The state-run utility had invited bids in February for procurement of 500MW solar power through competitive bidding. Azure Power won the bid for 200MW at a tariff of Rs 3.06 per unit and ACME Solar Holdings secured 100MW at the same tariff of Rs 3.06 per unit.

Kalthia Engineering made the lowest bid of Rs 2.98 per unit and won 50MW, while Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited (GSECL) bagged a contract for 150MW with quoted tariff of Rs 3 per unit.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 16:33

RB commissions first solar powered facility

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Consumer health and hygiene RB India, (erstwhile Reckitt Benckiser) has commissioned its first solar powered factory in Mysore as part of project Greenathon.

The factory, running on 'green power' forms an extension to RB's continuous efforts to reach its worldwide sustainability targets, a company statement said, adding that as of today, the factory meets 75 per cent of the energy needs with solar energy and aims to be the first factory running on 100 per cent green power in India within couple of years.

This marks RB's first power purchase agreement (PPA) in India, which forms a landmark in its sustainability journey. This initiative will enable reductions in carbon emissions by 80% for the Mysore site over the next 10 years.

The company has signed a 10-year 2.4MW power purchase agreement (PPA) with Amplus Energy solutions. Amplus has developed 42 MW solar park called as Nayaka in Chitradurga, Karnataka that supplies energy to the Mysore plant.


India must strengthen grid infrastructure to support its "strong push" towards renewable energy especially solar, said the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

"The main constrain in India right now is the grid," said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z Amin. "There is a huge upsurge in investment," he said of the renewable projects being implemented in the country.

India has set a target of 175 GW of renewable energy, including 100 GW of solar, to be installed by 2022.


Investment is not a constrained while a lot of companies are re-tooling their production capabilities, he noted.

"I think renewable energy has a huge future in India and it is moving really very fast," Adnan told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the campaign launch of Singapore International Energy Week to be held from Oct 29-Nov 2, 2018.

He also recommended that the government should try to create an investment climate where the cost of finance comes down.

"One of the other problems in addition to that there is a lot of risks priced into cost of capital that makes it more expensive than other places," he pointed out, listing out currency and policy risks among others.

Adnan calls for a clear long-term reliable policy framework and hedge mechanism to attract investors.

Given long-term reliable policy framework, investors would come to the table for renewable projects, he added.

He also appreciated success of mini-grids and stand-alone solar installations as part of the rural electrification in the country.


State-run equipments major Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) on Monday said it has won its largest solar photovoltaic (PV) power project for setting up a 75 MW power plant in Gujarat.

In a stock exchange filing, BHEL said the order has been placed by Gujarat Industries Power Company for setting up a plant at the Gujarat Solar Park in Charanka.

"Against stiff competitive bidding, BHEL has won an order for setting up a 75 MW solar PV power plant on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis, in Gujarat. This will be BHEL's largest solar PV project till date," the statement said.

With this order, BHEL's solar portfolio has risen to 545 MW, it said.

The company is currently executing over 150 MW of ground-mounted and rooftop solar PV projects across the country.

"BHEL has enhanced its state-of-the-art manufacturing lines of solar cells to 105 MW and solar modules to 226 MW per annum," it said.

"In addition, space-grade solar panels using high efficiency cells and space-grade battery panels are being manufactured at its Electronic Systems Division, Bengaluru."

The company said it offers EPC solutions both for off-grid as well as grid-interactive solar plants.

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The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), signed the Host Country Agreement here. The Agreement will give ISA a juridical personality and gives it power to contract, to acquire and dispose off movable and immovable properties, to institute and defend legal proceedings. Under this agreement, ISA shall enjoy such privileges, applicable tax concessions and immunities as are necessary for ISA’s Headquarter to independently discharge its function and programmes. ISA shall be deriving its status, privileges and immunities as per Article 10 of Framework Agreement.

The agreement was signed by General (Dr.) V.K. Singh, Minister of State, Ministry of External Affairs and Shri Upendra Tripathy, Interim Director General, ISA in the gracious presence of Shri R K Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) Power and New & Renewable Energy.

Congratulating the signatories, Shri R.K. Singh said that ISA has potential to change developmental paradigm in the world. He said that energy will now be available to less developed tropical countries at affordable rates and in an easily deployable manner. The Minister also mentioned that many countries have shown interest to learn from India’s experience in renewable energy. He emphasized the need for our industry to go and set up infrastructure in these countries and talked about doing necessary de-risking in this regard.

General (Dr.) V.K. Singh also congratulated ISA and stated that ISA has an onerous task at hand to mobilise over US $ 1000 billion of investment into the Solar Sector and deploying over 1000 GW of Solar capacity. He also stated that ISA need to firm up financial partnership deals with more multilateral and bilateral donor agencies in order to meet its stated objectives.

Shri Upendra Tripathy called the signing of Host Country Agreement an important milestone and thanked the Government of India for its wholehearted support.

Secretary, MNRE; Secretary (ER), MEA were among the dignitaries present at the event.


The International Solar Alliance is an initiative jointly launched by the Prime Minister of India and President of France on 30th November 2015 at Paris, in the presence of the Secretary General of the UN, on the side lines of COP21 UN Climate Change Conference. The main objective of ISA is to undertake joint efforts required to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology, mobilize more than US $ 1000 billion of investments needed by 2030 for massive deployment of solar energy, and pave the way for future technologies adapted to the needs of 121 countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics.

ISA has presently four ongoing programmes: Scaling Solar Applications for Agricultural Use, Affordable Finance at Scale, Scaling Solar Mini Grids and Scaling Solar Rooftop catering to the needs of solar energy in specific areas.

The Framework Agreement coming into force on 6th December 2017, the ISA became the first international intergovernmental treaty based organization to be headquartered in India. ISA celebrated its founding day on 11th March, 2018.

Friday, 23 March 2018 16:18

Karnataka govt not to reissue solar tender

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Despite the unexpectedly lukewarm response to its latest solar tender, the Karnataka government has decided not to reissue it but instead allot to the three bidders projects of whatever size they had bid for.

Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) had issued a 1,200 MW tender for projects at its Pavagada Solar Park, at a reserve tariff of Rs 2.93 per unit, setting a deadline of February 21. But the tender received only two bids of 100 MW each. KREDL then relaxed some of its earlier conditions and reissued the tender with a deadline of March 12. But once again it attracted only three bids, amounting to no more than 550 MW.

ReNew Power bid for 300 MW at Rs 2.91 per unit, Avaada sought 150 MW at Rs 2.92 per unit, while Azure Power asked for 100 MW at Rs 2.93 per unit. Following a meeting with KREDL officials on Wednesday evening, all three were allotted the full amounts they had bid for.

At the meeting, KREDL officials sought to lower the tariff further, according to insiders, but the developers did not relent. Neither KREDL nor the winning developers were willing to comment on the matter.

The response to this tender was in sharp contrast to the earlier one issued by KREDL in January this year for 860 MW across 43 talukas of the state, which saw 18 developers seeking a total of over 1,800 MW. The main reason, developers felt, was the reserve price set by KREDL, which in the earlier auction was Rs 3.57 per unit. The winning bids spanned a wide range of Rs 2.94 per unit to Rs 3.54 per unit across different talukas.

Emboldened by this, KREDL set its new reserve price at Rs 2.93 per unit, just below the lowest winning bid at the previous auction. But tariffs had clearly bottomed out. 

Solar tariffs, which have fallen steeply since 2015, are unlikely to do so any longer for several reasons. On the one hand, the cost of solar modules, mostly imported from China, is no longer falling as before, while on the other, solar developers have the threat of safeguard duty and anti-dumping duty hanging over solar imports.

Following complaints from local solar manufacturers that imports were crippling their industry, the Directorate General of Safeguards has proposed 70% duty on solar imports, while the Directorate General of Anti Dumping is still examining whether anti-dumping duty should be imposed too. Either duty if implemented is bound to increase solar developers’ input costs considerably and thereby increase solar tariffs.

Karnataka currently has the highest solar capacity among Indian states, with 3,657.52 MW commissioned by the end of February this year. 

As per Census 2011, about 65.9 per cent of households depend on solid biomass, including firewood, crop residue and cow dung as primary fuel for cooking in India. The use of traditional biomass for cooking through simple traditional cook stove is a cause of indoor air pollution due to incomplete combustion of biomass which produces a range of toxic products.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is already implementing various programmes with a view to provide alternate cooking solutions which would help in reducing dependence of traditional biomass cooking. These include:
  1. The Unnat Chulha Abhiyan programme launched in June 2014 for promotion of improved biomass cook stove in the country for providing a clean cooking energy solution with a view to reduce consumption of fuel wood with higher efficiency and low emissions. So far 36,940 family type and 849 community type improved cook stoves have been distributed.
  2. National Biogas and Manure Management Programme (NBMMP) for setting up of family type household biogas plants for meeting cooking energy needs of rural and semi urban areas and to save the use of firewood. About 49.6 lakh family type biogas plants have been installed in the country so far.
  3. Promoting solar cookers to reduce the indoor air pollution. About 7.05 lakh solar cookers have been distributed / sold through the State Government so far.
  4. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas aims to safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with clean cooking fuel through LPG. Under this scheme, 8 crore new LPG connections will be provided to women’s belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families up to 2020. More than 3.45 crore connection have been given under PMUY since the launch of the Scheme. 
This information was provided by Shri R.K. Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) Power and New & Renewable Energy in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.


Global technology major Google has filed a patent application in the country for Smart Solar Tile Networks, in which the tiles dynamically their alter operating states and transmit information between them and objects in close proximity to a solar tile within the network.

The California-based company's patent application, published recently, explains a technology in which one solar tile in a set is designated as the control tile and has a bearing on the functioning of the other tiles in the system. Essentially, the control tile acts as a network that receives status information from each of the other tiles in the system.

This would help it determine the operational state of each tile and dictate switching over to a another operational state, if required.

The control tile can also 'ping' the controlled tiles to communicate its status. The invention is also compatible with communication protocols such as Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC), Ethernet, 3G and 4G.

Google officials were not immediately available for offering further details on the invention.


The internet giant had earlier launched a new Google Earth-powered feature, Project Sunroof, that could be used to personalise solar savings estimator. This invention is particularly useful for residential solar users, as it helps them determine whether they can save by using solar by capturing data on sun exposure (how much sun hits the roof), power consumption figures, among others.

The project uses Google Earth imagery to analyse the shape of the user's roof and local weather patterns to create a personalised solar plan. It also compares finance options for the home user.

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The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in Renewable Energy between India and Guyana. The MoU was signed on 30th January, 2018 in New Delhi by Shri R. K. Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New and Renewable Energy (NRE) and H.E. Mr. Carl B. Greenidge, 2ndVice President and the Foreign Minister of the Co-operative, Guyana.

Both sides aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable energy issues on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity. The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Committee to review, monitor and discuss matters relation to areas of cooperation. The MoU aims for exchange of expertise and networking of information.

The Memorandum of Understanding will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

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