ABB connects 648 MW solar plant in TN to national grid

Jun 13, 2016 0

Bengaluru–Engineering company ABB has commissioned five sub-stations to integrate a 648 MW solar power project at Kamuthi in Tamil Nadu to the national transmission grid, it said on Monday.

“ABB connects power to the Indian grid from one of the world’s largest solar plants,” a company statement said.

“The project was awarded by independent power producer Adani Group in 2015, and completed on schedule.

“The solar photovoltaic project — made up of five plants at a single location — is the largest of its kind in the world. This facility will account for nearly 10 per cent of the country’s current solar capacity of around seven gigawatts (GW),” it added.

As part of the government’s plan of achieving 100 GW of solar power by 2022, the Centre has issued a proposal to implement 25 ultra-mega solar power projects with capacity of 500 to 1,000 MW over a period of five years, ABB said.

“This project exemplifies our end-to-end power and automation system integration capabilities and reinforces our commitment to the renewable energy sector — a key component of company’s next level strategy,” ABB Power Grids division president Claudio Facchin said.

According to ABB, the project includes two 230 kilovolt (kv) and three 110 kv outdoor switchyards to connect to the local transmission grid, and it will enable clean power supply for around 150,000 households based on average national per capita consumption.

The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people, the statement added. (IANS)

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World Bank nod for $625 million loan to Indian solar program

May 16, 2016 0

New Delhi–The World Bank said on Monday it has approved a $625 million loan to support India’s grid connected rooftop solar programme to generate clean energy.

“The project will finance the installation of at least 400 MW of grid connected rooftop solar photovoltaic (GRPV) across India,” the multilateral lender said in a statement here.

Onno Ruhl

Onno Ruhl

The World Bank Board has also approved a co-financing loan of $120 million on concessional terms and a $5 million grant from Climate Investment Fund’s (CIF) Clean Technology Fund, it added.

“India is endowed with huge solar energy potential, and the World Bank is strongly supportive of the government’s plans to harness this potential and increase India’s solar PV capacity to 100 GW, said World Bank country director in India Onno Ruhl.

“This project will support this target, by providing financing to some of the 40 GW of solar PV which will be placed on rooftops,” he added.

The project will be implemented by the State Bank of India (SBI), which will on-lend funds to solar PV developers, aggregators and end-users, who wish to invest in mainly commercial and industrial rooftop PV systems.

Financing will be provided to those with sound technical capacity, relevant experience, and creditworthiness as per SBI standards.

The World Bank loan has a 19.5 year grace period, and a maturity of 20 years. The loan from CIF’s Clean Technology Fund has a 10 year grace period, and a maturity of 40 years. The overall potential demand for rooftop solar is estimated at about 124,000 MW, the release said.

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19 thermal power plants in India not complying with pollution norms

May 11, 2016 0

New Delhi–A total of 19 thermal power plants across India were found violating the environment guidelines, including on installation of pollution control equipment, parliament was told on Tuesday.

“Polluting industries including Power plants are required to install pollution control equipment to meet the prescribed effluents and emission standards as specified in the environment clearance, consent and the guidelines to control the emissions of highly polluting industries,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

He said that according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), 19 thermal power plants were found to be not complying with the prescribed norms.

“CPCB has issued directions to the non-compliant thermal power plants,” he said.

According to the data, four of these plants are in Chhattisgarh, three each in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand and two each in Bihar and West Bengal. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan also have one such power plant.

India has over 200 thermal power plants, out of which about 116 are coal-based. (IANS)

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India’s renewable energy congress concludes on optimistic note

May 4, 2016 0

New Delhi– India’s Renewable Energy Congress (InREC) conluded here on a highly optimistic note in view of the recent tariff poicy and the government’s new solar power capacity target of 100 gigawatt (GW) by 2022, InRec said on Wednesday.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

The two-day conference of global investors, developers and manufacturers in the renewable energy sector was supported by the Independent Power Producers Association of India (IPPAI), and coordinated by UK-based Green Power, the statement said.

“The timing of this event couldn’t be better. India has set targets of 100 GW of solar capacity and 70 GW of wind capacity; so let us learn for each other as well as the international community to understand success strategies,” Shirish M. Navlekar, director of Mytrah Energy India, said in the statement.

Rahul Goswami, MD of Greenstone Energy Advisors, said: “Open and honest discussion were held to find out the best practices, whether it’s new investment models, innovative technologies or improving project efficiency.”

The union cabinet in January approved the new power tariff policy designed to promote clean energy, better regulation of distribution companies and ease of the process of doing business in the sector. It also raised the power utilities’ renewable purchase obligations.

“In order to promote renewable energy and energy security, eight percent of electricity consumption, excluding hydroelctricity, shall be from solar energy by March 2022, as part of the revised Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO),” Power Minister Piyush Goyal had told reporters. (IANS)

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India will add over 10,000 MW solar energy this fiscal

Apr 30, 2016 0

New Delhi– India will achieve the target for adding 10,500 MW solar power capacity in the current fiscal, New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.

“The way things are progressing in solar energy sector, we will definitely achieve our target. Solar energy is economically viable,” he said at the Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) and Solar Cooker Excellence Awards ceremony here.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

“A target of adding 10,500 MW solar power has been set for this fiscal. It is four to five time more than last year (target of 2,000 MW). For achieving this target we have already floated tenders for 21,000 MW solar power projects during last fiscal,” he said.

“With 21,000 MW of new solar projects out in the market, India has signalled to the world that we’re ready to lead.

“The preliminary studies have found that there is potential of 7.5 Lakh MW solar energy in the country which is a big target. India will achieve this target,” he added.

Goyal further said that India has exceeded solar targets by 116 percent this year in comparison to last year, and had already awarded solar projects of 11,000 MW.(IANS)

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Investors can be convinced of future returns from green investments: Singhi

Apr 23, 2016 0

By Arul Louis

United Nations– Investors and corporate boards can be convinced to make green investments by showing them the value of tangible and intangible future returns, industrialist Mahendra Singhi has said.

Singhi, Group CEO of Dalmia Cement, said here on Friday that many green initiatives – to reduce the carbon footprint of industries and make them environmentally sustainable – will not require much additional investments.

Mahendra Singhi, the Group CEO of Dalmia Cement,  addresses a news conference at the United Nations, Friday, April 22, 2016, on "The Impact of the Paris Climate Agreement on Business and Investors."

Mahendra Singhi, the Group CEO of Dalmia Cement, addresses a news conference at the United Nations, Friday, April 22, 2016, on “The Impact of the Paris Climate Agreement on Business and Investors.”

But some initiatives, like using waste for power generation or adopting certain low carbon technologies, do need larger investments, he said. Whenever there are such projects that may not produce “normal investment return”, the cost of the green initiative is noted.

“They may not be the right return today, but considering the problems of climate and the future benefits we do convince the board as well as the the investors to support those projects,” he said.

Singhi briefed the news media about the “Impact of the Paris Climate Agreement on Business and Investors”. In recognition of Indian businesses vigorously joining the climate change battle, he was one of the two Indian industrialists showcased by the UN at the Paris Agreement signing events. The other was Anand Mahindra, the CEO of Mahindra Group, who spoke on behalf of the corporate world at the opening ceremony.

Many green projects requiring large investments but low returns are beyond the reach of industries in developing countries and are not being implemented, Singhi said. “That is why there is the demand from developing countries for green funds,” he said. “Developed countries should support developing countries for achieving” environmental goals.

He said his company decided it would “walk the talk” on sustainable development and adopted voluntary targets. These were ensuring that its carbon footprint should be one of the lowest in the industry, which it has achieved, and becoming “water positive” so that more water is conserved, he said.

“We are also working in a big way on renewable power,” Singhi said. “Almost seven percent of our power consumption is from renewable resources and we will make it to 20 percent by 2019.”

The company has also started to convert the waste of other industries into power and projects its message of “waste to wealth”, he said. “We conserve the very important resources of our planet.”

“We have worked on corporate social responsibility for serving the poor part of society so that we don’t become an island of prosperity, but we create prosperity for all. We follow the philosophy of total prosperity shared with all stakeholders including the poor in our society.” (IANS)

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Trying to get US investments in power sector: Minister

Apr 22, 2016 0

New Delhi–The government on Friday said that it might get leading US investors to invest in India’s power sector.

According to the Minister for Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal, the government is trying to rope in major US based investors like the Blackstone Group to invest in the country’s power sector.

Goyal, who is on an official tour to the US, disclosed the information on the micro blogging site Twitter.

“@PiyushGoyal may get leading US investors-Blackstone Group, Warburg Pincus n others 2 invest in India’s power sector,” Goyal tweeted.

On Thursday, the minister informed that state-run Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) will open it’s 21st overseas office in New York in the near future.

“We will go back by the weekend and my office will get cracking with the EESL on Monday to set the ball rolling on EESL’s US chapter,” Goyal said.

“There was huge enthusiasm shown by the Green Bank and the Energy Council of the US earlier in the day during my meetings with them,” the minister spoke at the Renewable Energy Investors Roundtable.

The roundtable was co-hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the US India Business Council in New York on Thursday.

The move assumes significance as India will take EESL to the US to share innovative ways to mainstream energy efficiency, primarily on the back of economies of scale and transparent procurement.

“The pricing of LED bulbs in India has been a game changer with prices falling by over 83 percent in one year,” the minister said in a statement.

Currently, EESL has completed distribution of five crore LED bulbs under its Domestic Efficient Lighting Program.

Responding to investors queries on the volatility of the exchange rate and the need to address the hedging issue, Goyal said: “I am open to an earlier proposal of linking the debt to a basket of currencies including the US dollar (USD), the Japanese Yen (JPY) or even options like inflation linked tariffs to cover hedging risk.”

He, however, pointed out that the Indian rupee has been relatively strong over a long term and will be one of the strongest currencies given India’s growth potential.

In addition, Goyal said that other issues like the need for a stable and simplified policy and regulatory regime; standardised PPAs (power purchase agreement) and equipment standardisation were discussed during his visit to the UK and the US.

Further, Goyal projected India’s growth to be in double digits by next year, if not this fiscal itself.

Besides, the minister called upon natural gas producers to explore investment opportunities in India.

“India is willing to take gas for its gas based power projects and sign long term contracts of 10-15 years but this can be done at a fixed price of $5 per/mmbtu as the power sector is a price sensitive sector in the country,” Goyal said.

“With about 28 GW of stranded gas assets in the country, this is a huge and promising market as long as the prices are right and given the current Baltic index, I believe that this is a viable proposition.”

He further added that India is currently exploring all means of gasification including coalbed methane.

The union minister also talked about the ‘Make in India’ initiative, about which he said: “To incentivise manufacturing in solar, the government is exploring options of long term power contracts and long term land lease contracts for solar manufacturers.”

The minister reiterated India’s position for just climate action and re-emphasised that Indians and India need to get their chance to develop.

“India cannot be held responsible for the emissions although India believes in being a responsible global citizen and doing its part,” the minister added. (IANS)

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International Solar Alliance a trillion dollar opportunity: Piyush Goyal

Apr 22, 2016 0

New Delhi– The government on Friday said that the International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a trillion dollar opportunity to serve humanity.

According to the Ministry of Power, this was stated by the Minister for Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal in New York.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

“The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a trillion dollar opportunity to serve humanity and those in the dark,” Goyal said at the roundtable on ISA-the Trillion Dollar Opportunity.

The roundtable was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Terrawatt Initiative (TWI) under the aegis of the ISA.

“India has launched this initiative as an obligation towards the larger humanity as an article of faith,” Goyal said.

The ministry elaborated that ISA which comprises of 121 countries that lie partially or fully between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn is intended to create a platform for larger collaboration for technology, research and development and capacity building.

“This is about improving the quality of life of large number of people who are still grappling with problems of energy and accessibility at affordable prices,” the minister added.

The ministry added that the Global Solar Council has committed to create 25 million jobs in the solar space among the ISA countries.

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Indian power firms to woo British investors with ‘masala’ bonds

Apr 21, 2016 0

London–State-run power corporations would woo British investors through rupee-denominated ‘masala’ bonds to raise funds for renewable energy projects, Union Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal said here on Wednesday.

“State-run companies like National Thermal Power Corporation, Power Finance Corporation, Power Trading Corporation and Rural Electrification Corporation are likely to launch masala bonds worth $1 billion in three-four months in Britain to gauge the investor appetite,” Goyal said at a conference here.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

As India has set an ambitious target of generating 175-gigawatt (GW) by 2022 from renewable sources, the government is exploring overseas funds for the energy sector.

“The bonds will be limited to 5-7 years and issued in $150-250 million range by boards of power firms,” Goyal said at the session on aFinancing renewable and energy efficiency,’ organised by the City of London.

In 2015, International Finance Companies (IFC) issued bonds valued at Rs.1,000 crore and listed them on the London Stock Exchange. Some of them are a 10-year, Rs.10 billion rupee-denominated bond to raise funds for infrastructure projects.

Masala bonds are primarily rupee denominated bonds issued to overseas buyers.

Noting that measures were being taken to address risks in the system, Goyal said the latest reform (Uday) would stop losses for distribution firms and revive those that were shut down.

The government launched the Ujwal discom assurance yojana (Uday) on November 5 last year to rescue bankrupt state power utilities and retailers, check power thefts and align consumer tariff with the cost of generation.

The state-run Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) will coordinate a billion dollar equity fund in the renewable space.

“The bonds will be managed by an independent international fund management company and state-run enterprises have committed $315 million,” Goyal added. (IANS)

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Suzlon Energy acquires five solar energy companies

Apr 19, 2016 0

Mumbai–Suzlon Energy on Tuesday announced the acquisition of five solar energy companies to implement various renewable energy projects across India.

“Suzlon Energy has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it has acquired the following companies — Gale Solarfarms, Tornado Solarfarms, Abha Solarfarms, Aalok Solarfarms and Shreyas Solarfarms,” the renewable energy solutions provider company said in a regulatory filing.

However, the acquisition costs were not revealed.

The company recently won solar projects totalling 70 megawatt in Maharashtra.

“These companies, acquired at face value, do not have any operations or assets at present and have been acquired primarily to be used as special purpose vehicles for the proposed solar project,” the statement added.

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