Tata Power solar targets granted 2016 extension


The utility unit of Tata Power Co. will be allowed to push back its solar power procurement targets to as late as 2016 after an Indian state electricity regulator agreed that a shortage of sun-based power generation in the country had hindered the company’s aims.

A statement issued by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission outline how Tata Power has been unable to meet government renewable mandates since 2010 because of a nationwide shortfall in PV installations.

"It faced a genuine difficulty," said the commission, setting a new date of March 31, 2016 for the fulfilment of the company’s procurement targets, and even waiving fines that had initially been imposed.

Tata Power generates and distributes electricity in the state of Maharashtra, and had previously agreed to procure just 0.25% of its power from solar sources, rising to 0.5% in April 2014. Across the state, large industrial companies and electricity distributors have been required to source up to 10% of their power each year from renewable sources.

However, according to the statement, India would require some 3.5 GW of installed PV power in order for Tata Power to meet those obligations. Current figures put India’s installed solar PV capacity at just 2.1 GW, which is approximately 40% short of the capacity required, according to India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.