India to Tender 1 Gigawatt of Solar Rooftop Capacity in December

  • Tender to call for solar installations on government buildings
  • Project developers to get incentives based on timeline-targets

India is preparing to auction a gigawatt of rooftop solar capacity as it strives to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of generating 100 gigawatts of power from the sun by 2022.

The tender will be ready this month, according to Solar Energy Corp. of India, the agency responsible for implementing clean energy targets. It aims to accelerate panel installations on government buildings.

"The tender will entail target-based incentives, which will be released step-wise as a project developer meets completion timelines and not in one go," SECI General Manager Sanjay Sharma said in a phone interview.

This month’s auction follows a 500-megawatt tender completed at the end of November. Unlike that sale, which aimed to accelerate panel installations on homes, schools and hospitals, the bidders who win subsidies to install panels on government buildings won’t get full payments up front.

The 500-megawatt auction in November awarded awarded 432.7 megawatts to 122 developers, according to Sharma. Subsidized tariffs in the state of Himachal Pradesh touched 3 rupees (4 U.S. cents) a kilowatt-hour, according to Sharma, who said the results couldn’t be compared to utility-scale projects because of the aid.

India’s installed rooftop solar capacity now exceeds 1 gigawatt after growing by 513 megawatts in the last year, solar researcher Bridge to India reported in October. Rooftop solar costs have fallen 12 percent annually in the last four years.

India aims 40 gigawatts of its solar targets to be fulfilled from rooftop installations.

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