11 MW of canal solar commissioned in India as installations for the year expected to speed up

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Solar is being installed in India in all shapes and sizes, as part of a whole host of programs and initiatives across the country, in an attempt to achieve the ambitious target of 100 GW of installed PV by 2022. One such program is the Ministry of Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) canal solar program, which is targeting 100 MW of PV to be installed along the country’s canals.

Research from solar analysis outfit Mercom Capital has highlighted the progress of the program, noting that 11 MW has now been commissioned. The program was launched in the financial year (FY) 2014 -15, with the aim of installing 50 MW of solar on canal banks and 50 MW of solar on canal tops across ten different states.

With 11 MW now commissioned, a further 64 MW is planned to be commissioned by the end of this FY, with an end of year total expected to be 75 MW commissioned. To support the project, the MNRE is giving a subsidy of USD 450,000 per MW for canal bank projects, and a subsidy of USD 220,000 per MW for canal top projects.

Yearly solar goals

So far this FY, solar installations across all platforms in India have totaled 1,965 MW, contributing to a cumulative solar total of 8,728 MW in the country, according to Mercom research. While this is a commendable statistic, it is still a long way off the MNRE target of 12 GW to be installed this year alone.

The country now has five months to install more than 10 GW to achieve this target. Of course, this figure seems like it would be extremely difficult to achieve, with MNRE now expecting that 11,068 MW will actually be installed in the year. This still means that we need to see an awful lot of activity for India to accomplish this goal, but, as with last FY, many of the commissioning dates have been given for the final five months of the year.