Friday, 29 November 2013

The Gujarat State Electricity Corporation has issued a call for 'Expression of Interes' to provide consultancy services for carrying out the feasibility study and preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) for setting up of Solar Thermal Plant (of about 50 MW capacity with storage facility so that generation can be made available throughout the day, i.e 24/7.

The tender does not include any preferred technology for the CSP plant project, nor the energy storage technology.

Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Ltd. (GSECL) (Erstwhile Gujarat Electricity Board) is state Power Generating Company in the Gujarat state of India having total installed capacity of 5506 MW.

GSECL is interested to explore the possibilities of installing Solar Thermal Power Plant of about 50 MW Capacity with storage facility so that generation can be made available throughout the day (i.e. 24 hrs) at the Kutch Lignite Thermal Power Station site, the Gandhinagar Thermal Power Station site or any other suitable location within the state of Gujarat.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

NREDCAP popularising ‘green power’ in domestic sector

The New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) is trying to popularise small roof-top solar power systems in the domestic sector by emphasising on the importance of energy savings and recovery of investments.

Through rooftop solar systems, people can tap the solar energy which is available in abundance (for 11 months in a year) and contribute any excess power to the State’s electricity grid.

Awareness is being spread about that and it is yet to catch the fancy of consumers, said NREDCAP District Manager K. Srinivas.

A 3-KW roof-top solar system costs about Rs.1.5 lakh (excluding costs recoverable in the form of Central and State subsidies of Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively) and the intangible benefit it entails in the form of electricity (coal-based) saved is immense.

For instance, a household consuming 500 units of electricity drawn from the grid in a month will be charged Rs.4,500 at the rate of Rs.9 per unit.

more info @

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

India likely to see 1,750-MW solar capacity addition next year

Indicating better sectoral prospects, India is projected to see a solar power generation capacity addition of 1,750 MW next year, says a report.

Noting that new solar installations so far this year have been around 900 MW, Mercom Capital Group today said that India is not likely to register any significant year-over-year growth for 2013. However, during this period, global solar market is estimated to see 20 per cent growth.

"... our preliminary estimates are tentatively at 1,750 MW of solar installations in India for 2014.

"Although the projected installation growth looks impressive, it includes 420 MW of CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) projects that did not get installed in 2013," Mercom Capital said in a statement.

Going by estimates, the operational capacity, comprising solar photo voltaic and solar thermal, is little over 2,000 MW.

As per Mercom Capital, the domestic solar industry has seen high inflation with about eight per cent increase in module prices.

To boost solar power generation in the country, the government in 2010 had launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission ( JNNSM).

This programme aims to have 20,000 MW of grid-connected solar power by 2022.

India has an overall installed power generation capacity of more than 2,27,000 MW, with renewable sources accounting for over 28,000 MW.

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Monday, 25 November 2013

Kerala Cabinet approves Solar Energy Policy

The Kerala Cabinet has approved a Solar Energy Policy that seeks to raise installed capacity of the solar sector to 500 MW by 2017 and 1,500 MW by 2030.

The mission is to contribute to long-term energy security of the State well as ecological security by reduction in carbon emissions.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told newspersons here that the draft policy had been posted on the website of the Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology.

Comments received from stakeholders, including the general public, have been incorporated to the final document.

Land suitable for development of solar installations in the possession of either Government or private individuals will be identified, as per the original draft.

Such identified lands shall be offered to developers for grid connected solar installations.

Lease rentals fixed by revenue department shall be payable to the land owner. Only lands which do not have an immediate productive use shall be thus identified.


In the case of offsite commercial installations, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission will notify the normative feed-in tariff of solar power for procurement by State power utility.

Feed-in tariff refers to payments made out to ordinary energy users for renewable electricity generated by them.

Net metering shall be applicable for all agencies that consume grid power and have installed solar installations with some form of Government subsidy.

Special feed-in tariff will be made applicable for consumers with monthly consumption of 30 units and below.

For off grid systems, the policy seeks to ensure bank finance at attractive rates and provide generation-based incentives. Existing capital subsidies shall be restructured appropriately.


For grid connected systems, the Government would initiate a programme by which all public buildings are provided with generation facilities using appropriate technology options.

The policy urges all concerned to make use of the rooftop and premises to install solar plants to match maximum demand within a period of two years.

Grid connected systems will be promoted for domestic consumers in a phased manner after formulating grid connection standards for LT distribution.

In this regard cluster-wise installations will be given suitable incentives on a conditional basis for adopting solar installations.

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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Annual cap on solar power users

Tamil Nadu Electricity Re­g­ulatory Commission (TNERC) has fixed a cap on domestic consumers installing rooftop solar ph­o­tovoltaic systems at 90 per cent of their annual power consumption.

In its order on LT connectivity and net-metering for rooftop solar systems, TNERC said that electricity generated from a solar system and injected into the licensee’s grid should be capped commercially at 90 per cent of the electricity consumption by the eligible consumer at the end of a settlement period and excess energy generated beyond the cap would be treated as lapsed.

This means a domestic consumer would be able to install a rooftop solar system whose generation ca­pacity should not exceed 90 per cent of their annual power consumption. Tho­ugh the commission had proposed a cap of 200 per cent in its draft order, it has brought down the cap to 90 per cent in line with the guidelines issued by the forum of regulators, said a senior Tangedco official.

To ensure grid stability, the commission has fixed a cap on grid penetration for solar PV system. “At the local distribution level connectivity to rooftop so­lar systems should be restricted to 30 per cent of the distribution transformer capacity on the basis of the first come fir­st served,” it said.

An official explained that if a distribution transformer has a capacity of 100 kilowatt, maximum of 30 Kw solar system would be allowed to be installed to ensure grid security issues arising out of possible reverse flow of electricity in the local grids.

TNERC also made installation of a meter measuring solar power optional for those who had availed state’s capital subsidy of Rs 20,000. The bi-directional meter, which records import an export of energy would replace the existing meter. But it said grid interactive PV system with battery backup is not under the purview of it.

Friday, 22 November 2013

ANERT to set up 2-MW solar farm in Palakkad

Kerala’s first solar farm on the Mega Watt scale is expected to become operational at Kuzhalmandam in Palakkad district by March next year. The Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) will implement the project estimated to cost Rs.16 crore.

Utilising crystalline silicon technology, the grid-fed solar power plant of 2 MW capacity will come up on 12 acres of land. Designed in-house by ANERT, it features flat plate collectors and intelligent inverters. Once commissioned, the farm will feed 30 lakh units of power to the grid every year.

Officials said the project was designed to assist in research and development of grid-interactive power plants. The farm would be established as a turnkey project.

more info @

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

APSPDCL gearing up to implement solar energy net metering

The Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (APSPDCL) is gearing up to implement net metering policy. It is about the mechanism of injecting solar power into the grid by rooftop and small photovoltaic plants and arriving at the net value of power.

After the single-phase consumers were also recently allowed by the Energy Department to avail net metering facility, the ball is now in the court of the power distribution companies (Discoms) to encourage and facilitate tapping of solar energy through rooftop plants and small SPV plants .

Only three-phase consumers were till last month permitted to install bi-directional meters which measure the net value of power. But the condition has since been relaxed allowing single-phase consumers with rooftop systems up to 3 KW capacity also to go for net metering.

The onus to motivate consumers to tap solar energy and export any surplus power to the grid now lies on the Discoms and the New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP).

Bi-directional meters

On their part, the Discoms are mandated to certify and inspect the solar rooftop systems along with the metering devices and other paraphernalia at regular intervals while the NREDCAP facilitates payment of subsidy to the consumers registered with it. Installation of high accuracy bi-directional meters which can be tracked on a real-time basis and devices capable of injecting solar power into the grid smoothly without causing fluctuations in the grid frequency are the main things that the APTRANSCO and Discoms have to do.


Disturbances (harmonics) to the grid are common as direct current (solar energy in this case) is converted to alternate current. Insulating the grid from such variations is called ‘island protection’.

The Divisional Engineers (Metering & Protection) play an important role in integrating the solar plants with the grid and they have already been equipped with the necessary skills.

The procedures to be followed in the wake of issuance of the fresh G.O on net metering on October 25 are being circulated to the officers and staff concerned.

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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

IIT-M working on battery to store solar power

Tasting success in the solar technology, the Ind­ian Institute of Techn­ology (IIT), Madras, will soon come out with a cost-effective battery technology, which could be used to store large quantity of electricity.

Speaking to DC on Satu­rday, IIT-M director Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi said that several faculty at the institute had started their research on optimisation of electricity and appropriate battery technology.

“We are working on lower life cycle cost. We are looking at bulkier, non portable, batteries, which would be used for fixed use. Centre for decentralised photovoltaic systems in our institute is working on how to handle problem of load shedding and harness solar power locally,” he said.Prof. Ramamurthi says that India en­joys solar power for over 300 days in a year from 9 am to 4 pm with variations. Pointing out that the present solar tech had mismatch of production and storage (battery) of electricity, he said that a person had to spend Rs 14 to store one unit of power in the battery.

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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

India to Invite Bids for 1-Gigawatt Solar Plant by March

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL), India’s largest power-equipment maker, plans to invite bids by March to build a 1-gigawatt solar plant as the government seeks to cut the cost of the technology by promoting large projects.

State-owned Bharat Heavy, leading a six-company joint venture, intends to auction a contract for the design and construction work in the next four months, said Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

India, which suffers from peak-hour power shortages of as much as 25 percent in some states, is starting a program of large-scale renewable projects to diversify its energy mix and reduce a current-account deficit exacerbated by fuel imports.

The country has proposed to build five so-called ultra-mega renewable parks comprising as much as 18 gigawatts in capacity over about 10 years, according to a ministry presentation obtained by Bloomberg News. That would expand India’s installed solar capacity ninefold.

“The main objective is to bring down the price of solar power,” Kapoor said at the Intersolar conference in Mumbai yesterday. “We want to bring it to about 5.5 rupees (8.6 cents) a kilowatt-hour so that it’s competitive with any other source of power.”

Bharat Heavy’s planned tender will award a contract for the first gigawatt of a proposed 4-gigawatt solar park at Sambhar, Rajasthan state. The remaining capacity will later be auctioned in 500-megawatt batches to non-state developers, Kapoor said.

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Monday, 11 November 2013

New Solar Cell Is More Efficient, Less Costly

American innovators still have some cards to play when it comes to squeezing more efficiency and lower costs out of silicon, the workhorse of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules worldwide.

A recent breakthrough — the product of a partnership between manufacturer TetraSun and the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) — could spark U.S. solar manufacturing when the approach hits the assembly line next year. The innovative design, simple architecture, and elegant process flow for fabricating the cells make the technology a prime candidate for large-scale production.

Solar industry leader First Solar acquired TetraSun in April 2013, about the time R&D Magazine honored TetraSun and NREL with one of its coveted R&D 100 Awards for the year's top innovations.

more info @

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Solar Energy Corp of India seeks license for power trading from CERC.

Sensing huge potential in Solar powerproduction, the Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) has applied for license for power trading with Central Electricity Regulatory Commission.

SECI managing director Rajendra Nimje said the PSU is authorised to sell power that will be produced under the proposed 750MW solar power projects under Phase-II Batch-I, recently announced by the Government.

"We see huge potential in Solar power production in the coming years. We have applied for license with the CERC. It is under process and expected to be in final stages within two months," Nimje told PTI.

Nimje was talking on the of a seminar on Solar Water Heating System organised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in association with New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) Ltd and the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI).

He said they have invited bid for the second phase of the 750MW Solar power projects and will have a pre-bid meeting on November 19.

The proposed scheme for solar projects would be implemented through the Solar Energy Corporation of India in association with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd.

Electricity generated from these plants would be purchased by Solar Energy Corp at a fixed-level tariff of Rs 5.45 per KWH for a period of 25 years.

The Government has allowed around 1600MW Solar power projects under the first phase under theJawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) which has set a target, amongst others, for deployment of grid connected Solar power capacity of 20,000MW by 2022 to be achieved in three phases.

more info @

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Solarsis sets up rooftop solar PV unit for IIT-Madras

Solar photovoltaic solutions company Solarsis has installed a rooftop solar photo-voltaic system for IIT-Madras. This system incorporates various technologies in modules and inverters. The solar plant has been installed on top of the 50-year-old Electrical Sciences Block at IIT-Madras that aims to build 1-MW solar unit on top of its existing buildings. 

Venkat Rajaraman, CEO, of the Hyderabad-based Solarsis, in a statement said the structure is designed to withstand high wind zone of the Chennai coastal region. The plant also brings high degree of reliability and protection to enable to smooth interaction with the grid.

“We plan to test smart controller for solar, which is currently being designed by IIT-M, with the rooftop solar plant. Also the elevated structures ensure that we continue to use the roof as before for our regular use,” Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Electrical Engineering Department said. The IIT Madras Solarsis rooftop solar plant is a mix of different types of modules of various capacities. The 90KW plant will generate 1.5 lakh units a year and helps offset 90 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

more info @

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Solar Working Group Releases Standard Contracts


A working group representing solar industry stakeholders has developed standard contracts that should help lower transaction costs and make it easier to access low-cost financing for residential and commercial solar power projects.

The Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group, assembled by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is a consortium of solar energy developers, law firms, financiers and analysts with expertise in solar energy projects.

The contracts cover residential leases and commercial power purchase agreements (PPAs). The working group members recognized that customizable contract templates could improve consumer transparency, increase private-sector investment, and lower the cost of solar energy to end-users.

"These template contracts should allow national and regional solar developers alike to increase business opportunities and enable the creation of tradable investment vehicles desired by pension funds and other institutional investors critical to scale the industry," NREL Energy Analyst Paul Schwabe said. "This effort is just one of the many ways that the partnerships forged across the SAPC initiative are helping to unleash cost-competitive solar power."

To date, SAPC has developed three standard contract templates:

• Residential Lease – Aggregated (for developers with in-house installation practices)
• Residential Lease – Disaggregated (for developers using installation partners)
• Commercial PPA

NREL initiated the SAPC working group effort in October 2012. Since then, it has grown to include more than 120 member organizations. The working group is also engaged in several activities designed to build investor confidence, including collaborating with rating agencies to evaluate "mock" portfolios of residential and commercial assets, developing best practice guidelines for system installation and operation and maintenance, and developing a system performance dataset. The three-year effort is funded under the Energy Department's Sunshot Initiative.

more info @

Monday, 4 November 2013

NanoPV Voltech to set up 75-MW plant near Chennai

NanoPV Voltech Solar Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between US-based NanoPV Solar Inc and the Voltech group of Chennai, expects to open a solar module manufacturing plant near here in December.

The facility, with a capacity to make 75 MW worth of modules a year, is being set up at an investment of Rs 100 crore.

The solar module can be used as a component of a larger photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity. The Voltech group has nothing to do with Voltec Solar, the Alsace, France-based producer of high quality photovoltaic solar panels.

NanoPV was founded in New Jersey, US, in 2005 by Anna Selvan John, who hails from Chennai. John is also the President and CEO of the Indian joint venture.

The 75MW plant will produce crystalline silicon modules. The company has plans to make solar cells also, John told Business Line on Friday. Modules are made up with cells.

He added NanoPV has developed a hybrid cell technology which can convert 21 per cent of sun’s energy falling on the cells into electricity.

At a later stage, these hybrid cells will be manufactured at the Indian plant.

NanoPV Voltech’s subsidiarieshave won rights to set up two solar power projects—of 10 MW and 14 MW—in Tamil Nadu, through a bidding process of the state utility, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp Ltd (Tangedco).

The Chairman of the Voltech group, M Umapathi, told reporters here on Friday land for the projects was ready and the company had even organised the necessary “bank guarantee”. “We are waiting for Tangedco to sign the power purchase agreement.”

The 24-MW solar projects will be captive customers for the manufacturing plant. Apart from this, NanoPV Voltech has also won contracts for setting up a a6 MW solar plant from other winners of the Tangedco bid.

more info @

Sunday, 3 November 2013

New Generation to Build 315 Megawatts Solar in India

A group led by New Generation Power LLC, a U.S. clean energy developer, has signed contracts to build 315 megawatts of solar plants in India.

The group expects to invest $400 million by the end of 2014 to complete installations at various sites across Andhra Pradesh state, Chicago-based New Generation said in a statement. The plants will sell power under 20-year contracts to the local utility.

Mumbai-based Waaree Group and Hyderabad-based Premier Solar Group have been selected as contractors to design and build the plants, according to the statement.

more info @