NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd (NREL), the renewable energy arm of state-run power producer NTPC, has invited expression of interest (EoI) from domestic module manufacturers to procure 15,000 mega-watt (MW) of solar panels for its projects over the next five years.
Keeping in mind the company’s future renewable energy capacity addition plans, NREL “desires to enter into long term sourcing partners for solar photo voltaic (PV) modules to develop its renewable energy portfolio either by way of direct sourcing tie ups or through a contract manufacturing,” the company said.
NTPC had incorporated NREL to focus on its green energy business in October, 2020, as it aims to attain 60,000 MW of green capacity by 2032 from the current level of around 1,400 MW. Around 75 per cent of the 2032 green energy target is expected to come from solar. Modules made up of imported solar cells will also be eligible, NREL said, adding that “the purpose of this EoI is to evaluate the upcoming capacities of the domestic solar PV module manufacturers, their techno-commercial requirements to initiate the process of long terms sourcing tie ups”.
The development comes at a time when as much as 10,000 MW capacity of new integrated solar manufacturing plants are expected to be set up under the government’s Rs 4,500 crore production linked incentive (PLI) scheme.
The government has received applications for a cumulative manufacturing capacity of 54,809 MW under the scheme from 19 companies, including Reliance Industries Ltd, Adani, ReNew Power, L&T, Tata Power, Acme Solar, Vikram Solar and state-run Coal India Ltd. Currently, the country’s annual module manufacturing capacity stands at around 10,000 MW and cell output capacity at 3,000 MW. From the beginning of FY23, solar module and cell imports will attract a basic customs duty of 40 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively. Module costs comprise about 60 per cent of the total project expenditure for solar plants.