It was announced last week that the Indian state of Rajasthan is accepting bids from solar energy developers for 2X50MW of new concentrated solar thermal projects. This will amount to 100 MW of solar thermal capacity that will be awarded on a competitive basis. The pre-bidding process took place on 3rd January 2012, with the closing date for all bids set for 30th January. The Rajasthan solar policy was launched last year with the ambitious target of installing 12 GW of solar by 2022. Currently, nine projects are under development and with the second highest irradiation levels in India; it is no surprise that the project pipeline continues to increase in Rajasthan.
However, despite this announcement there is still doubt surrounding India’s ability to fulfil the targets set under the National Solar Mission. Currently, five of the seven projects developed under the NSM are situated in Rajasthan, and many experts have doubted the ability for all these projects to be completed by their 31st March 2013 deadline. Industry discussion this week has centred on the progress made on current projects, and whether or not CSP will remain an important part of India’s renewables future.
Experts at CSP Today have revealed important steps that indicate project developers will meet the deadlines set under the NSM. Siemens, General Electric and Areva have announced that they have received orders from Indian developers to supply turbines for Phase I projects. Godawari Power & Ispat, Megha Engineering, Reliance Power, Coporate Ispat Alloys and Lanco, all developing projects under the NSM, have placed these orders and are believed to have begun construction. In addition Areva is supplying their Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector technology to Reliance Power, whilst Lauren-Jyoti has confirmed that they are carrying out the engineering and construction work for Godawari Power & Ispat’s 50MW plant.
Although the two new projects in Rajasthan will be developed under the state’s solar policy, the ability for India to successfully build existing plants on time and on budget will surely have a knock on effect on any future CSP development. It remains clear that the successful implementation of CSP projects in India is crucial if CSP is to remain a dominant technology for years to come.
Leading CSP companies are due to meet in New Delhi on 14-15 March, at the 3rd Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Summit India, where the progress made by Indian developers and the impact this has had on CSP’s future will form an important part of the discussion.
Event organizer Jack Ahearne said that “with both local and international players present, we hope to assess the impact of Phase I of the National Solar Mission, looking at how the success rate of current projects will impact the entire Indian CSP industry’s track record in years to come”. Key themes at the summit will include “project development and progress in India” (Reliance Power, Lanco, Godawari Power & Ispat, Corporate Ispat Alloys, Aurum, ACME), “global experiences and lessons learned in project execution” (Torresol Energy, Abengoa Solar, Bechtel, Ferrostaal), “CSP technology comparisons for India” (ACS Cobra, Areva, Lauren CCL).
The event is set to take place on 14-15 March in New Delhi, with over 350 delegates in attendance. For more details about the summit go to the website:
Jack Ahearne, www.csptoday.com/india