The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) is a joined effort of the Central and State Governments to address India’s energy deficit by promoting the generation of Solar Power. The mission of the JNNSM is to setup a favourable environment for the production and penetration of Solar Energy in all parts of the country.

This project has been undertaken by the MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy). The MNRE has decided to break the Solar Mission into 3 phases, spanning the 11th, 12th and the 13th five-year development plans. The First Phase terminated in 2012-2013, the Second Phase has been earmarked as the period between 2013-2017, and the Third Phase will constitute the 13th five-year plan from 2017-2022.

The First Phase (up to 2012-2013) commissioned 1 GW of grid-connected solar power projects. The MNRE decided to give the mandate of implementation of this phase to a subsidiary company of National Thermal Power Corporation called NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVN). For this phase, NVVM decided to allocate 50% projects towards the Solar PV (Photovoltaic) panel industry. This gave an impetus to the solar panel manufacturers and several foreign participants entered the Indian market with the hope of supplying equipment to power project developers.

The Second Phase (2013-2017) has been split into 2 batches. The MNRE has appointed the newly formed Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to implement the second phase of this program. As part of the first batch of the second phase, bidding for 750MW of Solar Energy projects was accepted. A total of 68 bids were submitted with a cumulative capacity of 2170MW. The SECI allowed bidding in two categories – (i) Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) and (ii) Open bidding, both with an equal 50% or 375 MW of projects.

The guidelines for the second batch of the second phase have been issued by the MNRE. A few takeaways from the guidelines are as follows:

  • The project developer would sign power purchase agreement (PPA) with NTPC’s Vidhyut Vitaran Nigam (NVVN) Ltd. for 25 years
  • Viability Gap Funding mechanism, following in the latest biddings, will be replaced with competitive reverse bidding
  • Total capacity targeted is 1500MWp – all photovoltaic. Allocations to happen in two tranches of 750 MWp each in 2014-15 and 2015-16
  • Minimum project size is 10MWp and the maximum project size at a single location is 50MWp
  • Connection level with transmission utilities at 33kV and above, shall be permitted to bid
  • A project developer cannot be allocated more than 200MWp capacity (all project locations combined) under this batch
  • A company can only bid for a maximum capacity of 100 MW per tranche

The entire guidelines can be read here – Guidelines for Phase – 2, Batch – II

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