The final orders for installation of solar power projects by the Indian defense forces are in. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has formally asked the Indian defense and paramilitary forces to call bids to set to solar power projects.
The 300 MW solar power capacity will be set up for defense establishments covered under the Ministry of Defense, the country’s defense and paramilitary forces. These will include rooftop solar power projects as well utility-scale power projects.
The solar power projects are expected to be installed at the buildings of several defense establishments across the country as well as on unused land available with the Indian Army, Navy, and the Air Force.
The government shall provide funding support for all projects, depending on the capital cost incurred per MW. The project developers participating in the bids would thus quote the lowest capital cost investment required to establish the solar power project. A total of ₹975 crore (~$150 million) will be provided by the Indian government.
The entire 300 MW solar power capacity will be installed using solar power modules manufactured in India. The cells used for manufacturing the modules must also be sourced from Indian companies. This policy has been adopted by the Indian government in lieu of its decision not to impose anti-dumping duties on imported modules. As per WTO rules, preference can be given to domestic manufacturers in the case of projects that are being implemented for government agencies or institutions associated with national security.
The power generated from the power projects will be used by the defense forces and establishments, and any surplus electricity could be sold to other consumers. The developers will be allowed to sell the power at pre-determined tariffs.
The Indian government had earlier planned to ask defense forces to establish significantly greater solar power capacity but the plan was trimmed to 300 MW following reservations from the defense forces.
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