Government lowered time period for implementation of solar projects

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NEW DELHI: The Power Ministry has lowered the timelines for developers setting up solar projects. This is due to frequent bid cancellations that makes it difficult to achieve the solar capacity addition target. Government lowered the time periods available to developers in its latest amendment to the guidelines for tariff-based competitive bidding of solar projects.

The new guidelines provide solar developers a period of 15 months to commission the plants inside solar parks after signing the power purchase agreements (PPAs) and a period of 18 months for plants outside the solar park. Earlier, the time period was 21 months for solar park projects and 24 months for plants elsewhere. Also, the time period for funding arrangements for solar park projects is nine months whereas, for projects elsewhere it is 12 months, this remained unchanged from the previous guidelines.

The country has achieved only a little over 3,270 MW in nine months against the FY19 target of 10,000 MW for ground mounted solar capacity addition. The solar target of 100 GW is set for 2022 which could struggle to hit the mark due to a significant miss in the target of 2019. About 4,000 MW of solar auctions had to be scrapped in the ongoing fiscal due to issues such as higher tariff discoveries and lack of clarity on safeguard duty impact.

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