Canadian Solar commissions 35 MW PV farm in India

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The project, located in Karnataka’s Bagalkot District, is expected to generate approximately 54,000 MWh per year. Through a 25-year PPA, in line with the Open Access regulations of Karnataka’s Electrcity Regulatory Commission (KERC), local off-takers of the educational, healthcare, and auto parts industries will benefit from the supply.

“We are delighted to launch our first C&I solar portfolio in India which creates sustainable value for our customers. Local businesses can benefit from clean solar energy while mitigating rising electricity costs,” commented Shawn Qu, CEO. “Canadian Solar provides strong development, technical, and financing solutions that assist businesses in their switch to clean renewable energy.”

Karnataka’s open access regulations refer to KERC’s order number S/03/01, passed in 2014. Thereby, all solar PV plants are exempt from Wheeling, Banking and Cross Subsidy Surcharges for solar power generation for 10 years after they have reached their commercial operation date (COD). They only do so, however, if they reach COD before March 31, 2018. Therefore, it is noteworthy that even though the PV plant was commissioned in May 2018, Canadian Solar reports that it reached commercial operation as early as March 2018.

Through the open access regulation commercial and industrial consumers can reach a power purchase agreement with the PV plant operator and thus circumvent grid taxes and tariffs. According to WRI India, since October 2013, grid-connected solar PV tariffs have fallen to INR 6-6.50 ($0.08-0.09) /kWh.

Meanwhile, retail tariffs for industrial and commercial consumers have risen to INR 6.3/kWh and INR 7.85/kWh, respectively in the BESCOM license area (from the earlier INR 5.65/kWh and INR 7.25/kWh), and INR 6.15/kWh and INR 7.65/kWh, respectively in the non-BESCOM licensee areas (from the earlier INR 5.65/kWh and INR 7.05/kWh).

Thus, it is no surprise that Canadian solar has another 24 MW PV plant in the late stage of its pipeline in India.