Indian CSP: Concentrating efforts to meet the JNNSM deadline

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In December 2010, the Phase I bidding process of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) in India was completed with more than sixty companies submitting bids. The reverse bidding mechanism that was introduced under the JNNSM meant that solar projects were awarded to the lowest bidder regardless of their previous experience in developing CSP plants. It is now widely agreed that Phase I resulted in aggressive bidding on the part of project developers in India, which saw a total of 470MW awarded to local players.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission had previously set the feed in tariff for CSP at Rs 15.31 per kWh, with the winning developers proposing even lower discounts varying from between Rs 10.49 to Rs12.24. Despite the undeniable interest and support for CSP in India since the first round tender was awarded, the overall progress made by project developers has been questioned. With the project completion deadline looming, important steps are now being taken to successfully complete these plants by May 2013.

Last week Godawari Green Energy Limited, developers of the 50MW parabolic trough project in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, announced the order of their steam generator system from Aalborg CSP. The system will produce superheated steam at 385°C at 104 barg for a 50MWe steam turbine.

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In cooperation with the Japanese trading company Sojitz, Aalborg CSP entered the Indian CSP market in early 2011 and has since become a key player in supplying steam generator solutions in India. This order from a key contractor developing CSP in the country has re-installed confidence and answered many questions surrounding how much progress has actually been made by Indian developers.

Godawari Green Energy Limited announced the development of their 50MW CSP project under the JNNSM in December 2010. The estimated cost stands at Rs 700 crore, with a 25 year power purchase agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam at a fixed tariff of Rs 12.20 rupees per KW, far less than similar projects currently operating in Europe and the US.

With financial closure achieved, key components now ordered and ground works in place, as well as the experienced EPC group Lauren and Jyoti undertaking the design, procurement and construction, the project is expected to meet its deadline in March 2013.

With their entry into the Indian CSP market complete, Aalborg CSP and Sojitz Corporation were recently confirmed as exhibitors at the 3rd Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Summit in India, 14-15 March, New Delhi. “Entering a new market is always a challenge, therefore we saw a great opportunity in exhibiting at this event” says Peter Badstue Jensen. Godawari Green Energy Limited are also presenting at the summit, to outline the progress made on the development of their project, as well as how winning bids have impacted the market confidence and financial viability of Indian CSP.

Event organiser Jack Ahearne at CSP Today said that “the CSP industry in India is poised for massive growth and development in 2012; however, it is crucial that Phase I projects are completed on time and on budget, in order to sustain this growth”.

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