RE-Invest 2015 principal sponsors NTPC, Coal India far behind solar-power targets

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RE-Invest, a government-organised expo to boost the green energy sector, seems to be having a dry run.

Though the Centre remains optimistic and has gone ahead with RE-Invest 2017 (slated for December 7-9 in Greater Noida), the sponsoring partners of RE-Invest 2015 are well behind their renewable energy generation targets and commitments. NTPC and Coal India were the PSU partners, while Suzlon and Welspun Renewables were the private-sector partners.

Solar power projects

NTPC had made a commitment to set up 10,000 MW of solar power projects, while Coal India had set a 1,000 MW target. But the installations are way behind. NTPC’s current installed capacity is 870 MW with 11 solar power plants and another 50 MW of wind power. Coal India had asked Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to tender 200 MW of solar park projects in Madhya Pradesh on its behalf. But there is no commissioned or installed capacity in place till date.

An official aware of Coal India’s solar power plans told BusinessLine: “SECI has been engaged for the solar power projects. The earlier tenders had to be scrapped because of a steep fall in tariffs. This has delayed the bid award. We hope to tender another 50 MW in Madhya Pradesh once land is allocated by the State.”

Suzlon Energy Ltd, one of the two private sponsoring partners, had committed 5,000 MW of renewable energy generation capacity and 11,000 MW of wind energy equipment manufacturing capacity. According to a company representative, the installed equipment manufacturing capacity in India is close to 4,000 MW, lower than the 2015 commitment. But Suzlon makes up with over 11,000 MW of installed generation capacity, more than double its commitment.

The fourth sponsoring partner, Welspun Renewable Energy Pvt Ltd (WREPL), was acquired by Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd in September 2016. A company statement said WREPL has “about 1,141 MW of renewable power projects comprising about 990 MW solar and about 150 MW wind”. This again is far below the 11,001 MW of renewable energy generation capacity that Welspun had promised during RE-Invest 2015.

Interestingly, Tata Power Solar, one of the principal sponsors of RE-Invest 2015, did not make any commitments then. But the company has been going steady with an installed solar power generation capacity of 932 MW.

However, the same cannot be said about the other principal sponsors in 2015, such as once global giants SkyPower Global and Sun Edison. Sun Edison Energy India Pvt Ltd had committed the highest – 15,200 MW of renewable energy generation capacity. Of this, 10,000 MW was supposed to be solar, and the balance, wind.

However, Sun Edison Global went bust and the India operations were taken over by Greenko Energies Pvt Ltd, backed by the sovereign wealth funds of Abu Dhabi and Singapore. At the time of the deal,

Greenko had acquired 440 MW of installed capacity and another 1,200 MW of Sun Edison’s projects under development.

SkyPower had committed 9,900MW of solar generation in 2015.

Today, the company is battling Madhya Pradesh Power Management Co Ltd, which junked power purchase agreements of 100 MW citing delays in project commissioning.

The last release on SkyPower’s website that pertains to India came in May 2016. The company has not announced any new projects since.

Going by the information shared by the company till now, SkyPower had agreed to ‘jointly bid’ with Chinese battery major BYD for 750 MW projects in India. In April 2016, the company said it had won 350 MW of solar projects across Madhya Pradesh and Telangana that were to commence in the “third and fourth quarters of 2016.”

These appear to be the only projects that SkyPower has bagged yet – also well behind the promises.

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