India: Same again for Karnataka round two

11. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Investor news, Markets & Trends | By:  Max Hall

The Indian state of Karnataka has announced the second round of allocations under its solar policy and is seeking to generate 130 MW of projects to follow on from last year's 80 MW.

Solar panels in India.

The Indian state of Karnataka has announced the second round of allocations under its state solar policy.

But there will be some disappointment among developers that policymakers have ignored innovations offered in other states, such as net metering in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and the introduction of solar parks in Gujarat.

Consultancy Bridge to India reports that with a minimum size of 3 MW and maximum of 10 MW under round two of the allocations, the process seems formulated to favor photovoltaic projects over CSP, although both technologies will be considered.

That reality is reflected by the fact this round has no demarcation between the technologies: in 2012 the 80 MW was split into 50 MW for photovoltaic and 30 MW for CSP, but with only 20 MW of CSP forthcoming, the remaining 10 MW was allocated to photovoltaics.

The policy restricts itself to providing for the Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs) of power distribution companies, continues Bridge to India, unlike the system of Solar Purchase Obligations (SPOs) introduced in Tamil Nadu, which shifted the cost from heavily indebted distribution companies onto large private energy consumers.

There is also no waiving of open access and other grid-related charges, as was successfully offered in Andhra Pradesh.

The bidding process will again be based on a reverse auction benchmarked to a tariff of INR14.5/kWh (US$0.27) for photovoltaic and INR11.35/kWh for CSP.

There is a pre-bid meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, March 12) with the deadline for bids on March 28.

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