Government liaison are core to any solar power project : Nilesh Patel (Movya Consultancy)
Nilesh Patel is project consultant and liaison expert for solar PV power generation project. His business Movya consultancy deals in project consultancy, government liaison, REC project registration, PPA Allotment, signed PPA/ Equity trading and Land banking. He is also independent freelancer expresses his understanding of current issues alike in various national and international magazines and newspaper.
1.What is the main learning’s from the Gujarat Phase 1 allocations, both in technical and economical reference.
Gujarat Phase I and II came with straight fixed FIT, quick allocation and facilitation in all governmental requirement like Revenue, GPCB and others what is must for all other industrial project commissioning. Importantly with solar FIT of Rs. 15 for 12 year and Rs. 5 for 13 year was front loaded Gujarat policy for developer to get payback quickly. This allocation proved the rapid development is possible even in Government business by providing favorable financial revenues with certain restriction to the developer and strict guideline/ watchdog policy.
2. What are your expectations from the much awaited next phase allocations?
Though looking at current market scenario which always gets reflected while taking decision in Gujarat government, Third phase most likely be fall into reverse auction of FIT as like as JNNSM schemes. Couple of directions leads to this expectation. First, now too many wants to set up project in Gujarat (i.e. @22GW applicants) 2nd government bureaucracy are well aware of allocation process, developers issues and are very quick to answer any problems. I expect to fall FIT for Gujarat to be between Rs. 7 and Rs. 9.00 if third phase comes up.
3. Gujarat has highest installed capacity in India, but when it comes to NSM projects it lag far behind Rajasthan as a choice of developers. Are there any particular reasons for this?
Land was the prime culprit in NSM projects. Rajasthan was very cheap during Phase I batch I and II. Started with Rs. 5000/ acre today cost maximum of Rs. 4Lakh/ acre. While Gujarat from day 1 it started costing Rs.3/5 lakh because of good infrastructure and prosperity in the state, CHARANAKA solar park was even further expensive to nearly 14L/acre. Secondly having same political leadership in state and centre was always considered beneficial to Rajasthan compare to Gujarat. Further to that all liaison work for NSM projects tends to get done by Delhi office which is geographically near for Rajasthan.
4. Government liasioning is very important part for project developers in India. What are the main challenges you as consultant face in getting clearances.
Government liaison are core to any solar power project. There are many front. starting for furnishing clear pre-application thorough, allocation to PPA signing , project permits and approvals from various government departments and finally commissioning of the project, A developer need to prepare, sign and submit 160 papers in due lifetime of the project. Importantly consulting challenges are in getting project allocation, getting land clearances and project commissioning are three important one.
5. What kind of exist profits expected by investors in solar market? What are the regulatory constraints in this regard for projects under Gujarat Policy?
INDIAN market though it’s not that mature like European or American market, this point in time I have witnessed 15 to 20% margin on the sale of NSM projects. Though in Gujarat blank PPA were priced 3% considered project cost of 9 CR/MW. Under Gujarat policy Phase I there was clear mention of no sale or transfer of project equity for 3 year, though PPA permitted 50% technical partnership but no project were allowed if I am correct. In Phase II PPA this ban period extended for 5 year. GUVNL has creatively unearthed and denied FIT payments on commissioned projects which have made backend deal without alterations of equity in the company.
6. Please share insights about the new report on performance of solar plants in Gujarat
It is very premature to conclude on plant performances as many have not completed 6 months since commissioning. Though it has been widely observed with data we have grouped from different sources, average production per MW comes out between 6000 Kwh/day. Majority installations are of thin film in Gujarat. Most projects took almost 3 months in stabilizing the complete system to operate smoothly and deliver power to grid. We have published the report of 700MW of Gujarat installations with all technical details, in case someone are interested to look in further details.
7. Movya has also moved out from the Gujarat. Please throw some light of future plans.
Yes, we are currently working in Uttrakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Kerala. We are also looking into Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for our regional client. We also started helping clients on pre-feasibility study and DPR’s recently. We understand informed client is good for long term prospect and have mutual benefit for both, hence we have started educating new client on pros and cons of REC policy before they enter into solar industry.