Solar in India: Gujarat proposes INR 7.49/kWh FIT rate for plants commissioned after January 28th
The state government of the Indian state of Gujarat has proposed a maximum feed-in tariff (FIT) rate of INR 7.49/kWh (USD 0.146/kWh) for solar power developers who fail to commission their plants by January 28th, 2012, according to the Natural Group.
The government’s proposed rate is half the INR 15/kWh (USD 0.292/kWh) that will be paid for PV plants connected by the January 28th, 2012 deadline, and lower than rates proposed by the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC). A final decision by GERC on FIT rates, as well as whether or not to extend the control period, is expected in coming weeks.
“Our view is that tariff for solar projects getting commissioned after January 28th should be maximum INR 7.49 per unit,” stated Gujarat Energy and Petrochemicals Department Principal Secretary DJ Pandian.
“The solar project developers are coming up with unconvincing reasons for delay in commissioning their plants. Any extension in control period to enable developers to commission their projects beyond specified time for being entitled to get higher tariff would be against public interest.”
GERC grants one-month extension
GERC granted an extension of 2011 FIT rates to January 28th, 2012 in early January, after more than 30 Indian solar developers filed petitions with the agency for a six-month extension to the December 31st, 2011 deadline.
Companies petitioning for the extension included Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd. (Mumbai, India) and GMR Gujarat Solar Power Pvt Ltd. (Bangalore, India), as well as the Solar Energy Association of Gujarat.
GERC proposed FIT rates of INR 10.27 to 13.14/kWh
Following the one-month extension, some solar developers have asked GERC for a further extension, citing delays in land allotment, weather and other conditions. The government of Gujarat opposes this extension, and argues for FIT rates that are lower than those originally proposed by GERC for this period.
GERC had proposed rates ranging from INR 10.27/kWh (USD 0.20/kWh) to INR 13.14/KWh (USD 0.256/kWh) for plants commissioned from January 29th, 2012 through March 31st, 2015.
Natural Group states that more than 500 MW of solar plants are expected to be operational in Gujarat by January 28th, 2012, with another 300 MW either already commissioned or ready for commissioning.