Indian solar energy companies are fast delivering world-class solar power projects as the market expands based on favorable regulatory and policy outlooks.
India’s largest engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company in the solar power market has just commissioned the world’s largest single rooftop solar photovoltaic power project. The 7.52 MW solar power plant has been commissioned in the northern state of Punjab.
Larsen and Toubro has been involved in the construction of several solar power projects that will be seen as major milestones in India’s solar power infrastructure expansion. The company reported that it has already commissioned or is working on solar power projects with total capacity of 400 MW. This includes the largest solar thermal power plant in Asia – Reliance Power’s 125 MW linear Fresnel power project located in Rajasthan. The company has also worked on several other solar power projects under the National Solar Mission.
Punjab has some of highest power tariffs in the country. Being an agricultural state, power supply to the farmers is of paramount importance, while industries and commercial users are low on the priority list. In the absence of adequate supply, the utility procures power from short-term markets, which increases the overall costs which, in turn, is passed on the industrial and commercial consumers.
Commercial and industrial consumers in the state have also had issues with the utility over the use of the latter’s transmission network to purchase electricity directly from willing suppliers. Thus, self-generation became an attractive prospect.
As India feels the coal supply crunch, several industrial users are looking at self-generation options like rooftop solar power projects to meet their power demand. A large number of industrial units in Southern Indian states have installed solar power projects for the purpose of self-consumption.
Punjab, also facing coal deficit at its thermal power plants, has announced plans to install 2,000 MW of solar power capacity through utility-scale projects, and 100 MW through rooftop solar power projects.