Daily News Wrap-Up: Government Launches Critical Minerals Auction

The Ministry of Mines has launched the fourth tranche of e-auction for critical and strategic minerals, offering concessions for 21 mineral blocks, even as it canceled the auction of 14 mineral blocks from the second tranche. The ministry attributed the cancelation due to poor response. In February, the ministry issued the second tranche to grant concessions for 18 critical and strategic mineral blocks across eight states, with 17 designated for composite licenses and one for a mining lease.

Solar developers are facing longer lead times for power transformers as manufacturing capacity for this key component in large-scale solar projects has failed to keep pace with demand, slowing solar deployment in India. With approximately 143 GW of large-scale solar projects under various stages of development and another 96 GW of solar projects tendered and pending auction, the demand for transformers is exploding, according to the Q1 2024 India Solar Market Update from Mercom India Research.

NTPC has invited bids to set up 1,200 MW interstate transmission system-connected solar power projects anywhere in India. The last date for the submission of bids is July 18, 2024. Bids will be opened on the same day. NTPC will enter into a power purchase agreement with the selected bidders for the purchase of solar power for 25 years. The minimum bidding capacity should be 50 MW and in multiples of 10 MW thereafter. Bidders can bid for an individual minimum project size of 50 MW at one site.

NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam has invited bids to commission 10.61 MW of ground-mounted and 8.65 MW of rooftop solar projects at different locations in Zone 1 of NTPC. The ground-mounted projects must be installed within eight months of receiving the work order, while rooftop projects must be completed in six months. The selected developer must operate and maintain the projects for three years. The last date to submit the bids is July 18, 2024. Bids will be opened on the same day.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India paid solar and wind power producers ₹9.84 billion (~$117.9 million) for the energy purchased in February 2024. The payment reflected an increase of 5% from the January disbursements. The disbursements increased by 10% on a year-over-year basis. Disbursements to solar and wind developers constituted 86.8% of the total payments. The major beneficiaries were SB Energy Three, SB Energy One, Adani Solar Energy Jaisalmer One, Adani Hybrid Energy Jaisalmer One, and Azure Power Forty Three.

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission ruled in favor of TP Saurya (TPSL), a subsidiary of Tata Power Renewable Energy, declaring the increase in Goods and Services Tax rates as a “Change in Law” event for its 300 MW wind-solar hybrid power project. The ruling will allow TPSL to claim compensation to offset the financial and commercial impact incurred due to the tax hike.

The Bureau of Indian Standards has unveiled two standards, IS 18590: 2024 and IS 18606: 2024, aiming to enhance the safety of electric vehicles (EV) across various categories. These new regulations, targeting the EV powertrain, ensure stringent safety measures and battery performance criteria. The IS 18590: 2024 and IS 18606: 2024 standards relate specifically to vehicles in the two-wheelers, passenger four-wheelers, and goods-carrying four-wheelers categories, covering a broad spectrum from two-wheelers to commercial trucks.

Cleantech Solar, a provider of renewable energy solutions in India and Southeast Asia, has secured ₹8.55 billion (~$103 million) in long-term green financing from Aseem Infrastructure Finance. The financing will support Cleantech Solar’s open-access portfolio in India, specifically for constructing and operating solar and wind power projects across multiple states. The company said the loan facility aligns with Cleantech Solar’s commitment to expanding its commercial and industrial portfolio, which currently stands at 1.2 GW.


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