Under the new solar PLI scheme, past winners to have their bidding capacity capped at 10 GW

The new round of the production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for solar manufacturing will see changed methodology and would be open to past winners with a cap on bidding amount. However, the capacity will be capped to 10 gigawatts (GW). The minimum Local Value Addition (LVA) or use of local content for the participating manufacturers has been kept at 90 per cent.

The PLI guidelines have been modified after the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) received close to 50 GW of bids against a PLI sanction of Rs 4,500 crore. The corpus was increased to Rs 19,500 crore under the Union Budget 2022-23.

In the first round, the Centre received close to 18 bids from a range of companies – Coal India, L&T, Vikram Solar, Megha Engineering and several new companies. Against an RfP of 10 GW, bids received touched 50 GW.

The winners were Reliance New Energy Solar – the green energy division Reliance Industries, Adani Infrastructure and Shirdi Sai. Of this, Shirdi Sai was reported to have received the LoA from IREDA, the executing body for the PLI scheme.

However, after the corpus was increased, sector executives said the first set of winners also wanted to participate in the upcoming round. The government is looking to allow these past winners but their bid will be capped against a ceiling of 10 GW. For instance, Shirdi Sai has won 4 GW, it can now only bid for 6 GW or below. Adani won 0.7 GW and RIL 2.4 Gw. The union minister for power, new and renewable energy R K Singh held a stakeholder conference to modify the guidelines for the upcoming PLI round. It is expected that PLI bidding would witness more aggressive bids. Likely strong contenders for this round would be Coal India Ltd, ACME Solar, ReNew Power, Vikram Solar apart from the incumbents.

Shekhar Ghosh is a communications consultant and and former journalist, who has edited and written for publications such as like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today and Outlook.

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