Indian state Karnataka to lower rooftop PV tariff, announces 1.2 GW tender

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Indian state Karnataka’s two biggest regulators in clean energy – Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) and Karnataka Energy Development Limited (KREDL) – have announced a raft of policy tweaks designed to grow its solar energy industry.

KERC has proposed a revised feed-in tariff (FIT) for rooftop and installations to come into effect on January 1, 2016. The new, lower FIT will apply to PV arrays sized between 1 kW and 500 kW, and would bring the level of support down from 9.56 INR ($0.14)/kWh to 8.40 INR ($0.12)/kWh for those system owners that have not received further subsidies.

The 30% rebate received by some system owners for the installation of their array places them into a different bracket, with the rate of the FIT reducing from $0.10/kWh to $0.09/kWh. This proposal is expected to be approved before the end of the year, while a further cap on the net metering scheme proposed by KERC will also help the state’s transition towards greater deployment of large-scale solar farms.

Last week, KREDL issued a request for proposal (RFP) for 1.2 GW of ground-mount capacity in Karnataka, to be installed across the state’s 60 Taluks, which are smaller, subdivisions of regions and districts.

According to the RFP document, each installation should be sized between 3 MW and 20 MW, and a bidder is only permitted one bid per Taluk. Each developer must also agree a PPA with the local utilities, which will be vetted and overseen by KERC.

Earlier this year, KREDL signed 500 MW of PPAs, which are expected to be commissioned by the end of 2016. So far, the state has announced the development of 1.3 GW of solar PV projects.