Source: The Hindu Business Line, Dec 13, 2016
Hyderabad: Solar power project development in solar parks is being hampered by delays relating to infrastructure and site preparation issues.
A report by consultancy firm Mercom Capital states, “Project developers are citing issues, including lack of access roads, clean green lands, and clear demarcation of land areas in these solar parks.”
Officials at government agencies are pointing out that development of solar parks is in its early stages and state nodal agencies are working to resolve issues as they arise.
Currently, 34 solar parks are planned across 21 states with an aggregate proposed capacity of 20 GW.
As per the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) guidelines, in some states, the Solar Energy Corporation of India has formed joint ventures with state renewable energy agencies to construct these solar parks.While in several States, National Thermal Power Corporation is overseeing the construction of some of the solar parks.
The government’s rush to auction projects in these parks ahead of completing land acquisition formalities has led to project developers winning bids but not ready to start construction due to lack of infrastructure.
“The issues around solar parks are typical to the Indian solar sector,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “Most policies are well-intentioned with top-down goal setting, but the problem usually is on the execution side.”
Developers, meanwhile, are paying for park infrastructure that is non-existent. Much of the infrastructure is being built parallel to project construction and will be complete when projects are close to completion, which doesn’t help the developers.
Project economics are sensitive to delays in project commissioning. In some States, infrastructure is not ready and the power evacuation facility is inadequate.“Solar parks are huge projects and these problems are minor when you look at the capacity that will be achieved; it has just been two years since we ventured into solar parks,” according to a SECI official.
Nodal agencies are resolving these issues at the ministry-level to fast-track solar park development.
MNRE has requested States take up necessary action for speedy implementation of solar power projects and thereby help achieve solar targets.