Rajasthan gets largest solar REC project

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State-based Tobacco trader is hoping to sell 53,000 units of clean energy a year.

An Indian company has built solar generators capable of producing up to 33 MW of energy, the largest to be undertaken under the nation’s new Renewable Energy Credits scheme. Giriraj Enterprises Ltd. started output from 3 projects last week with three generators producing 19, 11 and 3 MW (totaling 33MW) of energy, all located within the western state of Rajasthan.

Under the country’s new Renewable Energy Credits scheme, companies like Giriraj, a tobacco trading giant, are investing in solar generators to produce clean, renewable power. The new scheme forces state power distributors to buy a portion of their electricity from clean sources, resulting in profit for those companies capable of putting the infrastructure in place to yield this clean energy.

The Tobacco trader has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a local state-owned electricity distributor in Maharashtra state, enabling them to sell electricity at an average price of 2.7 rupees a unit. The company is hoping to trade up to 53,000 units a year.

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Indian demand for renewable-energy credits, or RECs, almost tripled last month to 435,481 as the fiscal year drew to a close, making the business scheme a profitable one. Solar credits can be sold for up to 13,400 rupees apiece on the Indian Electricity Exchange, according to REConnect Energy Solutions Pvt.

Bharat Bhushan, a New Delhi-based analyst, is however surprised to see such large investment from private companies in the Indian REC market, considering it to be, “risky and unpredictable”, recently stating, “Thirty-three megawatts is the largest solar REC project in India, it is not a normal practice to see such large investments in solar RECs.”

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