Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mahindra Solar's Jodhpur Power Plant Commissioned

Mahindra Solar One Pvt. Ltd, a joint venture between Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M) and Kiran Energy Ltd, on Monday commissioned its 5MW solar PV (photovoltaic) power plant in Jodhpur, Rajasthan--a project the company had won under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

Mahindra Solar has won another set of 50MW projects under JNNSM. Besides, it plans to add an extra 50MW solar capacity in next two to three years.

Indian government plans to set up 20,000MW of solar power capacity by 2022. In the first phase, 1,000MW will be developed by 2013.

For the JNNSM projects, the government fixes the benchmark tariff and developers quoting the lowest tariff bag the project.

Mahindra Solar will get '11.89 per unit for its 5MW plant. For the next 50MW project, it will get '9.34 per unit, said Vish Palekar, business head for clean technology ventures at M&M.

The first solar power project of scale which uses trackers to enhance efficiency of the plant, the PV plant will have 22% plant load factor (PLF), higher than 18-18.5% PLF of static solar panel-based plants. The trackers help solar panel follow the direction of sun. The PLF indicates efficiency of the plant against its installed capacity.

Consultancy firm KPMG India in May projected that cost of solar power will be comparable with traditional source of power by 2017-18 because of rising costs of coal and gas and falling prices of solar power equipment.

Kameswara Rao, executive director and head of infrastructure, utility and mining practice at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) India Pvt. Ltd, said apart from JNNSM route, many state governments especially Rajasthan and Gujarat have come out with very attractive policies for solar power sector.

Renewable purchase obligation mandated by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for all distribution utilities and Renewable Energy Certificate (REC), make it further attractive for solar power developers to scale up their capacities, he added.

CERC has issued guidelines which make mandatory for all distribution utilities to buy certain percentage of their power purchase from renewable sources. If they fail to meet this obligation, they can comply with rules by buying RECs from producers of renewable power.

Joint secretary in the ministry of new and renewable energy, Tarun Kapoor, who was present at the function to announce commissioning of Mahindra Solar One plant said the government will frame policy to allow sale of excess power generated from roof top or off-grid solar power plants on the grid within next three months.


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