India: $743 million funding for 5 GW of solar, 30,000 jobs; record low tariff in Rajasthan

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Putting its money where its mouth is, the Indian Government has announced yet another new program aimed at achieving its ambitious goal of installing 100 GW of solar by 2022.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has green lit the installation of 5 GW of grid connected solar PV projects on a build, own and operate basis via Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under Batch-lV of Phase-ll of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

VGF of around Rs. 5,050 Crore (Rs 1.00 Cr / MW), or roughly $743 million, will be made available to the program, which will run over the financial years 2015-16 to 2019-20. The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will distribute the funds, in addition to preparing the necessary bidding documents. Tenders will be state specific. Once a PPA has been entered into with SECI, developers will have 13 months to commission their projects.

The government calculates investment of 30,000 crore (around $4.4 billion) under the program, in addition to the creation of 30,000 new jobs.

In related news, record low solar PV tariffs have been recorded in Rajasthan. Through a reverse auction on Monday for 420 MW solar power projects to be installed in the Bhadla Solar Park-II, near Jodhpur, one project attracted a bid of Rs. 4.34/kWh (roughly $0.063).

Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy sent out a congratulatory tweet to Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Mrs. Vasundhra Raje on the success: "Congratulations to Hon’ble Raj CM @VasundharaBJP ji for achieving lowest ever Indian solar tariff of Rs. 4.34/ unit through reverse auction."