The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has decided to hold separate auctions for solar projects using domestically manufactured modules to help local producers of panels that can tap the sun’s energy. For some auctions, the ministry is also dropping a requirement for panel makers to source locally made solar cells.
“The first of these, a 500 MW tender for solar projects using only locally produced modules, is going to be announced soon,” said Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary in the ministry. Although auctions of projects with only domestic equipment have been held earlier, they always required solar module producers to source locally made solar cells. In some future auctions, this norm will not apply. “We are very pleased with the development,” said Gyanesh Chaudhury, CEO of Vikram Solar, a leading module manufacturer. India’s capacity for producing solar modules is 5,620 MW annually, while that of solar cells is 1,212 MW.