Researchers from India’s National Institute of
Technology, the Centre for Energy and Environmental Engineering and Shoolini University have developed a new modeling
technique to enhance the output of a PV system using mirror reflectors.
Using this model, the group demonstrated a more than 20% energy yield
increase with a PV system comprising multicrystalline
modules installed at a high altitude in India’s Himalayan region.
The researchers note that mirror reflectors have
been widely used in the past to increase the power generation of solar
modules, and that they have proven to raise output by between 20% and 30%
depending on the season, site of installation and type of reflector.
“Several studies have been done to determine the optimum tilt angle of a
reflector, but only a few have discussed the temperature effects on
augmented PV panels,” the group also states.
The proposed model, according to its creators, was
conceived to determine optimum tilt angles for reflectors during which
maximum reflected radiation falls on the PV panel throughout the day,
during both summer and winter months.
The MATLAB-based model was validated experimentally
at a PV system located in Hamirpur, a town in
the state of Himachal Pradesh, in the western Himalayas region of India.
The location was key to the research, because it enjoys the combination
of good solar radiation and relatively low ambient temperatures that is
typical of the mountainous western Himalayas region.
The reflected irradiation, in fact, is expected to
increase the temperature of the modules in comparison to a PV system
without a reflector. “However, since the temperature rise due to
reflector is small, in the present study, the effect on PV efficiency is
probably not substantial,” the scientists state. “In this study the
maximum rise in PV panel temperature is found to be 59 degrees Celsius in
summer season under sunny conditions, but the average rise is found
between 48 and 50 degrees, only 0-4 degrees higher than for a PV system
without a reflector.”
In the winter, average rises were found to be
between 23-25 and 36 degrees Celsius, 0-2 degrees higher than a comparable
system without a reflector.
The average improvement was measured by taking an
average over the course of the day from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm at 30-minute
intervals. The measurements allowed the group to ascertain that the main
power enhancement period was between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm, while lower
improvement was registered between 2.00 pm and 5.00 pm.
SmartCity Kochi Wins
Award for its Go-Green Efforts
SmartCity Kochi, a joint
venture company formed by the Kerala government and Dubai Holding, has
won an industry body’s award for ecological sustainability in recognition
of the IT township’s go-green efforts that save energy, conserve water,
recycle waste, avoid plastic and promote overall cleanliness.
Known to be the best of the best within the
facility management sector, the honour – FM
Excellence Award for 2019- 2020 – comes from the Infrastructure,
Facility, Human Resource and Realty Association (iNFHRA)
that enables government and industry bodies to deliberate on policy
Aiming to promote high standards among its members
and encourage best practice in the industry to improve positioning and
competitiveness, the organisation also
interacts with international partners to promote globalisation
and economic development of the Indian industry.
Infrastructure Pvt Ltd was shortlisted for the
award along with other majors such as Bosch, Ramanujan
IT City, and Yamaha Motors, considering their contribution to green
energy, water management, and environmental management, a release issued
by the iNFHRA said.
SmartCity Kochi CEO Manoj Nair, while hailing the iNFHRA
award, as a great honour and recognition, said
the 2016-founded special economic zone gives high priority to sustainable
energy and other green initiatives in all its projects.
It is not just about developing infrastructure and
buildings, we are into protecting the environment. That is the need of
the hour and each one of us has to do one’s part, he added. SmartCity Kochi has established a 564-kWP rooftop
solar photovoltaic plant with the objective of reducing dependency on
conventional sources by at least 10 percent.
A rainwater harvesting tank of capacity 400 KL is
in place even as the treated water is fully used as per the norms of the
State Pollution Control Board. Also, aerators are used in taps to optimise water usage.
Further, SmartCity Kochi
has set up ODS (ozone depletion substance) restriction, banned single-use
plastics and promoted digital advertising platforms, besides having
installed organic waste composting and rooftop gardening.
The iNFHRA awards for
2019-2020 were supported by major international property consultants such
as CBRE South Asia, Cushman & Wakefield, Jones Lang LaSalle and
Knight Frank India Pvt Ltd as outreach
According to data provided by the Minister of New
& Renewable Energy (MNRE) the coastal state of Odisha has a total of
521.69 MW of renewable energy capacity installed in the state as on
February 29, 2020.
As per the data, the capacity is divided between
solar energy, small hydropower plants and biopower.
Solar with 397.84 installed capacity accounted for more than 3/4th of the
entire renewable energy capacity in the state. Behind solar was small
hydropower with 64.635 MW of installed capacity and biopower
with 59.22 MW of installed capacity.
As per the Green Energy Development Corporation of
Odisha Limited (GEDCOL), the Government of Odisha has proposed the
following renewable energy projects:-
Development of 275 MW Solar Park in Sambalpur & Boudh
districts through GEDCOL.
Setting up of 19 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar
projects on Government buildings in 17 cities of Odisha through GEDCOL.
Setting up an 8 MW ground-mounted solar project on
surplus lands available in Baripada, Jayanagar & New Bolangir
EHV sub-stations of OPTCL and Mukhiguda & Manmunda powerhouse of OHPC & GEDCOL.
Development of cumulative capacity of 75 MW through
ground-mounted solar projects at Boudh, Bargarh & Bolangir
(each 25 MW capacity).
Development of small hydro-electric projects at
Kanpur (4.2 MW), Jambhira (3 MW) & Mandira (10 MW) in Keonjhar,
Mayurbhanj & Sundargarh
Development of a cumulative capacity of around 500
MW of floating solar power plants on various reservoirs in the state in
collaboration with NHPC.
In another response to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister for New and Renewable
Energy RK Singh has informed that the MNRE had given “in-principle
approval‟ for developing Kakinada and Narsapur
towns as solar cities under the scheme “Development of Solar Cities”. And
that no project/activities were undertaken by the Municipalities of
Kakinada and Narsapur before the closing date
of the scheme i.e., March 31, 2017.
Answering another question, the minister said that
MNRE had given approval for developing Vijayawada as a pilot solar city
in 2011 under the scheme “Development of Solar Cities”. Under this, 5
number of solar PV projects of 100 kWp capacity
each have been installed at 5 different locations of Vijayawada Municipal
Preparing for a #futureready
India, Tata Power, the country’s largest integrated utility is making a
big push for a stronger adoption of clean energy by expanding its rooftop
solar offerings to 90 cities.
The big rollout from Tata Power is also coming at a
time when consumers across all major categories including commercial,
industrial, residential and public sector are now adopting solar energy
as a reliable and sustainable solution to meet their energy needs that
also holds tremendous potential to save costs, the firm issued in a
Praveer Sinha, CEO
& MD, Tata Power said, “solar rooftops not
only offer an economical and clean alternative to conventional energy
sources but also deliver reliability. With the increased adoption of RTS
by consumers, we are confident that our solar rooftop solutions will play
a big role in improving energy access across the country, in both urban
and rural parts.”
Since the launch of customisable
rooftop solar solutions on a pan-India basis in September 2018, ringing testimonials
of happy customers continue to pour in on the value of Tata Power rooftop
solar solutions across all categories of power consumers.
For Abid Siddiqui, Plant
Head, Bisleri International, the main factor
that accentuates the importance of rooftop solar panels is that they are
a clean mode of energy and require very low maintenance.
Ashish Khanna, President, Tata Power (Renewables),
said, “It is our endeavour to offer consumers
the option of clean and green energy, which is not only cost-effective but
also helps them in energy conservation. With RTS, we aim to achieve our
Company’s objective of ‘Lighting up Lives’.”
The rising popularity of RTS within the Indian
power sector is also an outcome of the increasing share of renewable or
green energy in the country. So far, Tata Power has installed over 375+
MW of rooftop projects, including some of the most industrialised
states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
Tata Power Solar has also built utility-scale
projects in 13 states in the country with a total capacity of around 2.76
GW. In 2017, the company executed a 2.6 megawatt (MW) solar rooftop plant
at the carport of Kochi International Airport. Incidentally, this is
India’s largest solar-powered carport.
Delivery of Trackers for 3.4 GW of Solar Portfolio
NEXTracker has announced
that it was selected by 174 Power Global, an affiliate of Hanwha Group,
to supply its smart solar trackers across 174 Power Global’s
3.4 gigawatts (GW) US solar projects portfolio. The contract was executed
in the second half of 2019. The commercial agreement marks one of the
largest racking contracts in solar industry history.
“NEXTracker has a proven
track record for on-time delivery, flexibility and the capacity to scale
and meet customer’s requirements,” stated Henry Yun, CEO of 174 Power
Global. “NEXTracker’s distributed architecture
and exemplary yield gain technology were critical to our decision. Having
an assured tracker supply and cost savings guaranteed through Safe Harbor
as we continue to plan our project pipeline is critical in advancing our
mission of creating a more sustainable future.”
Businesses are looking to maximise
the benefit of the solar investment tax credit (ITC) before the end of
the year when the ITC phases down. The ITC dropped from 30 percent in
2019 to 26 percent this year and will decline an additional four
percentage points in 2021 before falling to 10 percent in 2022, the firm
issued in a statement.
“174 Power Global has developed an impressive solar
portfolio and we are honored that our innovative, smart solar trackers
were included across its projects,” said Dan Shugar,
CEO of NEXTracker. “This announcement
demonstrates our ability to scale and offer our customers strong
engineering support, bankability and on-time delivery in the context of
fluid and challenging global supply conditions.”
In June 2019, we had reported that the firm had
announced its latest industry milestone, with 20 gigawatts (GW) of its
smart solar trackers delivered and under active fulfilment globally. The
firm was named the No.1 supplier of photovoltaic (PV) tracker systems
globally in 2018, a title it has held for four consecutive years,
according to research and consultancy firms IHS Markit
and Wood McKenzie Power and Renewables.
The Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad (IIM-A)
has issued a tender for setting up of 50 kWp
grid-connected rooftop solar PV system on a turnkey basis on two
locations on the campus. As per the tender, the projects will be
developed at two locations. The first a 30 kWp
system on the roof of the CIIE Building on the new campus and the second
a 20 kWp system on the roof of the RJM Library
Building on the heritage campus.
The scope of work for the selected bidders will
include the design, supply, installation, and testing and commissioning
of the two rooftop solar projects on a turnkey basis with five years
(1+5) comprehensive maintenance contract.
The last date for bid submission is April 14, 2020,
and the techno-commercial bids will be opened on April 15, 2020. A
pre-bid meeting has been scheduled for March 24, 2020, to address the
concerns raised by the prospective bidders. The date and time of opening
of the financial bids will be intimated later to the cleared technical
All bidders must submit an Earnest Money Deposit of
Rs 50 thousand along with their bids.
To be eligible for participating in the bidding
process, the bidder should have been in the Solar PV Module business for
a minimum period of five years. And should have a similar experience of
implementation of rooftop solar projects.
Experience of having successfully completed similar
works during last 5 years ending last day of the month before the one in
which applications are invited should be either of the following:
Three similar completed works costing not less than
the amount equal to Rs 7 lakh. OR
Two similar completed works costing not less than
the amount equal to Rs 10 lakh. OR
One similar completed work costing not less than
the amount equal to Rs 15 lakh.
Financially, the average annual financial turnover
during the last 3 years, ending March 31 of the previous Assessment year
(For FY 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19) shall be minimum Rs
20 lakh. And the bidder must be a profit-making organization in the last
three consecutive assessment years.
As per the tender document and matching the
university culture, the bidders will have to give a presentation for the
overall assessment of the firm based on technology leadership, technical
capabilities, work experience, quality, and team expertise before the
IIM-A Core Committee.
MahaMetro, which aims to
meet 65 per cent of its energy requirement from solar, is installing
panels atop its stations at a fast pace. Its aim is to install total 14MW
and so far 1MW has been installed and work is going on another 1.5MW.
A Metro spokesperson said that solar energy was a
win-win situation for the agency. “A private operator installs the panels
through Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a central government
undertaking. We don’t spend a penny on it. We just provide the space in
our stations. The operator sells power to us when the panels are
installed. We get electricity at less than half of MSEDCL’s power
tariff,” he added.
“At present we are meeting 85 per cent of our
electricity requirement of our stations through solar. Panels have been
installed atop six stations and Metro Bhavan.
The average monthly generation is more than one lakh units. Till date we
have exported over 2.5 lakh units of electricity to MSEDCL. More than
10.5 lakh units of solar energy has already been generated, which saved
more than Rs82 lakh for Nagpur Metro Rail Project so far,” said the
He further said that work on installation at five
Metro stations and two depots for 1.5MW capacity was in progress. “MahaMetro is in the process of signing agreements for
development of another 3MW for upcoming 10 stations and depot buildings.
More than 5MW will be installed by March 2021,” he added.
MahaMetro is one of the
first Metro Rail agencies to go for solar energy right from inception.
Many agencies started switching to solar when they were asked by central
government and when their electricity bill ran into crores.
Going green helped MahaMetro
secure loans worth around Rs4,500 crore from
German agency KfW and French agency Agence Francaise de Developpment (AFD). According to the spokesperson,
foreign lending agencies prefer projects that are green.
“We are using green energy wherever possible as our
aim is to reduce pollution in Nagpur. Our feeder vehicles will run on
electricity or LPG. Our stations have bio-digesters to recycle water. Our
stations have got Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) ratings,” he
GAIL has entered exclusive discussions to buy a
stake in privately owned solar power generator ACME Solar holdings, according
to four people aware of the matter.
The state-owned company formerly known as Gas
Authority of India is said to be carrying out due diligence on solar
power plants owned by ACME Solar.
It is yet to discuss financial terms with ACME’s
shareholders, as per these sources.
“The discussions are at an early stage. The
proposal has not been taken up by GAIL’s board”, an executive said.
The state-run player could pick up anywhere between
49-74 per cent stake in ACME Solar holdings if discussions progress towards
a deal, according to the sources.
“The talks are open-ended. The deal could involve
an investment in the parent company and also separate investments in
certain SPV’s that house individual projects”, another executive briefed
on the matter said.
GAIL is the largest processor and distributor of
natural gas in India.
The company is said to be exploring investments in
the renewable energy space as part of a strategy for diversification of
its businesses and to create a hedge against volatility in natural gas
prices which are linked to crude oil.
Spokespersons for GAIL and ACME Solar declined
comment when contacted.
ACME Solar’s portfolio of
5.8 gigawatts places it amongst the largest standalone solar power
generation companies in the country and could be worth over $1.6 billion,
as per industry experts.
GAIL has a tie-up with state-owned BHEL for setting
up renewable energy projects and also provides financial support to
startups who are setting up businesses related to clean energy.
It was also amongst contenders to buy IL&FS’s
wind power projects that were put up for sale as part of a plan for
financial reconstruction of the debt-ridden non-bank finance company.
ACME Solar has a pan-India portfolio of solar power
generation plants covering twelve Indian states. It’s
operational plants produce nearly 3 gigawatts of solar energy which is
supplied to state electricity boards with whom it has long term power
purchase arrangements some of which extend upto
The company is also in the midst of setting up new
solar plants that have the capacity to generate a further 2.8 gigawatts
of power. It generated free cash flows of Rs.
800 crore in the current fiscal leaving it with ample liquidity after
accounting for its capital expenditure.
Pension funds, private equity players and global
strategic investors have also explored the possibility of investing in
ACME Solar or purchasing some of its assets after it shelved a planned
initial public offering of shares (IPO) a few years back.
State-owned energy companies are increasingly
pursuing inorganic growth opportunities. National Thermal Power
Corporation recently outbid Adani group in a
bidding process for the purchase of Avantha’s
group’s power plant in Madhya Pradesh. Similarly, National Hydroelectric
Power Corporation acquired a power plant from Lanco
group last year after winning in a bidding process.
Solar tariffs increased to Rs
2.61 per unit compared with Rs 2.50 per unit in
the last auction conducted in February.
Vena Energy, Juniper Energy and Tata Power won
40MW, 190MW and 120MW at tariffs of Rs 2.61, Rs 2.63 and Rs 2.64 per
unit, respectively in an auction conducted by Gujarat's main distribution
company, Gujarat Urja Vikas
Limited (GUVNL) on Wednesday for 350MW of solar capacity.
A GUVNL executive told ET last week that although
the size of the tender is 500MW, only 430MW of bids were received,
forcing the discom to scale down allotment.
"We were expecting to get at least 700-800MW, but somehow people
have not participated," said the executive, who spoke on the
condition of anonymity.
In a solar auction conducted by the renewable
energy ministry’s nodal agency Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI)
last month, the lowest winning tariff was Rs
2.50 per unit.
“As far as international investors go, the risk
assessment is lower for central tenders. So they are able to finance the
capital at a lesser rate,” said Jyoti Gulia, founder of renewable energy consultancy firm,
The ceiling tariff for this auction was set at Rs 2.65 per unit. Industry executives told ET that it
is too competitive, especially given that the practice of setting a
ceiling tariff is being done away with.
The ministry of new and renewable energy has
directed all state discoms and central agencies
not to prescribe an upper ceiling tariff in future wind and solar
GUVNL had conducted a 500MW solar auction in May
2019 where tariffs ranged between Rs 2.65-2.70
Domestic solar power equipment manufacturers need interest
subvention to stay competitive in the market and enjoy level playing
field against foreign firms, according to National Solar Energy
Federation of India (NSEFI).
"Interest subvention will encourage the
industry and will greatly help in making domestic manufacturing
competitive. The scheme will go a long way and help create a level
playing field for Indian manufacturers to compete with foreign
manufacturers," NSEFI Chairman P R Mehta said. There are total 73
companies which are part of NSEFI as; trustee, patron, associate and
ordinary members working as solar developers, manufacturers, engineering,
procurement and construction contractors, rooftop installers, system
integrators, and small and medium enterprises.
Interest subvention allows subsidy or rebate in the
rate of interest on which financial institution provides loan to
companies. The subsidy is borne by the government to promote an industry.
Experts say lending rates in India hover in the
range of 10-12 per cent for setting up a solar manufacturing business as
against China which provides cheap loans at 3 per cent to 5 per cent.
"This has helped Chinese companies to lead the race in manufacturing
solar equipment since they produce at mass scales already," said Ameya Pimpalkhare, a
renewable energy expert and an Associate Fellow at Observer Research
The present domestic manufacturing capacity for
solar cells in India is around 3 to 4 gigawatt and that of module
manufacturing is about 9 to 10 gigawatt annually. "India needs to
reach about 20-25 GW of capacity to fulfill its domestic needs itself.
Also, there are good opportunities in South Asia and Africa for Indian
modules which also need to be explored," Pimpalkhare
said. Chinese panel manufacturers cut module prices by up to 35 percent
after China’s curtailment of its solar industry beginning mid-2018.
Speaking at an industry event earlier this year,
renewable energy secretary Anand Kumar had
said, MNRE has recommended to its commerce and finance counterparts to
impose basic custom duty on imported solar cells and modules. He also
said that to focus on domestic manufacturing, the ministry has brought in
manufacturing-linked tender, where the subsidy is inbuilt in the
Pimpalkhare said given the
outdated technology employed by Indian manufacturers, there is a need for
investments in research and development by both the government and the
industry to establish domestic manufacturing units.
Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL), the holding company of all
the power utilities in the states, has floated a tender for 700 Megawatt
(MW) capacity solar power projects to be set up in Dholera
"In order to fulfill the renewable power
purchase obligation and to meet the future requirements of discoms, GUVNL intends to procure 700 MW solar power
from the projects to be located in 1000 MW Dholera
Solar Park through competitive bidding process on build-own-operate
basis," the company said in a Request for Selection (RfS) document.
The selected companies will set up solar power
projects in Dholera park
on Build-Own-and-Operate (BOO) basis in line with the provisions of the
tender conditions and the standard power purchase agreement (PPA).
GUVNL is re-tendering the 700 MW capacity which
remained unallocated in solar tenders invited in January last year. A
pre-bid meeting was also held at that time. It has now incorporated all
the acceptable suggestions made during the pre-bid meeting in the tender
document and the PPA.
The company has also given an option to bidders to
raise queries before 3 April 2020. The deadline for submission of
interest is 18 April. The opening of the financial bid and reverse
e-auction will start on 27 April.
GUVNL will enter into PPA with successful bidders
for 25 years beginning the scheduled commercial operation date of the
project. The maximum tariff that can be quoted by the bidders has been
set at Rs 2.92 per unit.