Daily News Wrap-Up: India Adds 10 GW of Solar Capacity in Q1 2024

India achieved a milestone by adding over 10 GW of solar capacity in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, the highest quarterly installation to date. This figure represents an almost 400% year-over-year increase compared to the over 2 GW installed in Q1 2023, according to the recent Q1 2024 India Solar Market Update from Mercom India Research. Quarter-over-quarter capacity additions also surged 414% from nearly 2 GW in Q4 2023. In Q1 2024, India installed 9.7 GW of large-scale solar capacity, which included 1.8 GW from open access solar projects.

The Government of Gujarat has awarded 479 MW of solar projects to various developers under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Uthan Mahabhiyaan (PM KUSUM). The projects were tendered for feeder-level solarization under Component C of the PM KUSUM program and are expected to be operational by the end of 2024. The winning companies include Onix Renewable, Indian Infrastructure and Project India, WAA Solar, Raghuvir Avenues, and GreenBloom Energy, among others. The quoted tariffs ranged from ₹2.87(~$0.0345)/kWh to ₹3.00(~$0.0360)/kWh.

REC Power Development and Consultancy has invited bids for the design, engineering, supply, construction, erection, testing, and commissioning of a 200 MW ground-mounted solar power project at Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. The last date for submitting bids is June 6, 2024. Bids will be opened the same day. Bidders must pay ₹25,000 (~$300.36) plus 18% GST for the bidding document and ₹1 million (~$12,014) plus 18% GST as the tender processing fee. They must also submit an earnest money deposit of ₹35 million.

INKEL, a public-private partnership initiative promoted by the Government of Kerala, has invited bids from contractors for operating and maintaining 15.7 MW grid-connected ground-mounted solar power projects at various locations in Kerala. The last date for submitting bids is May 24, 2024. Bids will be opened the same day. Bidders have to pay ₹1,000 (~$12.01) + GST. The contract is for two years from the date of site handover.

Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission has issued its Draft Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (Net Metering Rooftop Solar PV Grid Interactive Systems) (Fourth Amendment) Regulations, 2024. This draft introduces specific provisions for low- and high-tension consumers installing rooftop solar systems, aiming to enhance the integration of larger solar capacities into the grid while ensuring equitable cost distribution. The regulator has exempted rooftop systems with a capacity of up to 10kW from getting a technical feasibility study done.

Gujarat-based Torrent Power recorded a revenue of ₹65.29 billion (~$784.36 million) for the fourth quarter of the financial year (FY) 2023-24, a year-over-year (YoY) increase of 8%. The company’s profit after tax for the quarter was ₹4.47 billion (~$53.7 million), an 8% YoY decrease. Torrent Power’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization for the January-March period rose by 2% YoY to ₹12.06 billion (~$144.88 million). During the quarter, the company’s solar plant load factor (PLF) declined to 20% from 21.6%, while wind PLF increased to 20.8% from 20.3%.

INKEL has invited bids from contractors for O&M 2.15 MW of grid-connected ground-mounted solar power projects at various locations in Kerala for two years. The last date for submitting bids is May 27, 2024. Bids will be opened the next day. Bidders must pay a tender fee of ₹1,000 (~$12.01). The selected contractor must submit a performance guarantee for 5% of the yearly O&M contract value before entering into the contract agreement.

Bengaluru-based technology startup NoPo Nanotechnologies raised $3 million in a pre-Series A funding round by Axilor’s Micelio Fund and Inflexor Ventures. The funds will be used to scale production, improve engineering capabilities, and implement a global market strategy. NoPo said it has developed innovative technology to produce high-quality single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), which have been in development for the past decade. SWCNTs are advanced materials with potential applications in various fields, such as improving energy density in EV batteries and aiding researchers in semiconductor design for quantum computing.

Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have developed a data-driven model that can predict barriers related to dehydrogenation, a chemical reaction that involves the release of hydrogen in magnesium hydride, a promising material for solid-state hydrogen storage. This process of solid-state hydrogen storage binds the gas to a metal hydride using moderate heat and pressure. The hydrogenated material can then be safely stored at normal temperature and pressure without any hydrogen escaping. The process is then repeated with different pressure and temperature conditions for dehydrogenation.

Researchers from Swansea University have found that introducing compatible hole-transport materials between perovskite and carbon can significantly enhance the performance of perovskite solar cells (PSC). PSCs offer a potential solution for efficient and economical renewable energy production. However, their widespread adoption is hindered by the lack of scalable fabrication methods. Roll-to-roll processing is a promising approach for large-scale manufacturing, particularly when incorporating carbon electrodes. This brings benefits such as cost-effectiveness and stability.

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