India’s ambitious JNNSM Plan to build 20 GW of Solar Capacity by 2022 has seen projects being awarded for 479 MW of Solar Thermal Projects under Phase-1.The Solar Project Bidding was expected to be extremely competitive and it turned out to be exactly that with discounts of more than 30% being offered to the base price of RS 15.31 for Solar Thermal generated Electricity.Note Rs 15.31 was determined to be a decent price on which a Solar Thermal Plant Developer could get decent returns just a year ago.This means that a 30% Discount would lead to zero or very low returns for the Solar Thermal Winners.According to news reports there are 7 winners for these Solar Thermal Plants 6 of which will come up in Rajasthan which seems to be the biggest winner of these Solar Subsidy Scheme.Andhra Pradesh is the only other state to win a Solar Thermal Project.There were about 60 applicants for the Solar Thermal Part of the Phase 1 JNNSM Bidding from which these 7 have been selected.
Reliance Power,Lanco and KSK Energy has won 100 MW Projects while 4 others have gotten approval for small plants.There are stringent time deadlines for all phases of the projects with PPAs to be signed in February 2011 and around 30 months to be taken to complete the plant.Note while the 100 MW Plant builders are known power utilities,the other 4 are not that well known.The smaller winners are Godavari Power,Aurum Renewables,Corporate Ispat and Megha Engineering.It remains to be seen how successful the JNNSM Solar Thermal Projects turn out to be.I am not a big fan of Solar Thermal Technology and think that the Desterec Projects is a White Elephant.However the Indian Solar Plan has placed a big emphasis on this technology.Note Areva and Siemens have already set sights on the Indian Solar Thermal Equipment Market.All of these Solar Thermal Plants will be built incidentally in Congress ruled States which is the Ruling Party of the Federal Government
Around 60 companies, including Lanco, KVK Energy and Reliance Power, have been shortlisted for the solar-thermal collector modules project, which is part of the government’s ambitious plan to reduce the price of solar power generation.
Solar-thermal collector-based power plants are seen as cheaper to set up, leading the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission to stipulate a lower price of Rs15.31 per unit compared with Rs17.91 promised for photovoltaic panel-based solar plants.
While Lanco Power and KVK Energy have offered a discount of Rs4.82 and Rs4.11 per unit, respectively, for 100 mw capacity in Rajasthan for solar thermal modules, another company, Megha Energy’s discount works to Rs4 per unit for a capacity of 50 mw, according to sources.
The Reliance Power-promoted Rajasthan Sun Technique has offered a discount of Rs3.34 for setting up a 100 mw solar plant.
Under Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission Phase-I, the discounts are much higher than anticipated by NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam.
For solar thermal projects, 60 companies have bid offering a capacity of around 2,666 mw as against the required capacity of 500 mw.
The PPAs are likely to be signed by December, giving a purchase guarantee for the power produced by the plants to be set up by the bid winners, sources said.