Two of the leading industrial conglomerates in India have committed to set up large scale renewable energy projects in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
Reliance Industries and the Adani Group have reportedly announced plans to set up a total of 25 gigawatts in the state of Andhra Pradesh over the next few years. Neither shared any details regarding timeline or investment required for this plan.
The announcement comes amidst commitments by these and several other industrial groups to expand renewable power capacity across different states. Such commitments are typically made during investor summits organized by state governments. Actual execution of these projects depends greatly on the concessions offered by the state governments.
Andhra Pradesh announced a unique policy in 2020 inviting project developers to set up large scale renewable energy projects and export the power to other states. The state government set a target to have 120 gigawatts of solar, wind, and solar-wind hybrid capacity under this policy.
The policy was seen as a major shift in the hawkish stance the state government had taken towards renewable energy projects a few years earlier. Following general elections and a change in government, an investigation was launched into power purchase agreements signed by the previous government. The new administration had challenged supposedly high tariffs being paid to project developers. The government had claimed that since solar and wind energy tariffs had fallen sharply over a short period of time it was unreasonable to continue with existing power purchase agreements at older, higher tariffs.
The move was vehemently opposed by project developers and was challenged at numerous legal forums. Developers received support from the central government as well. Finally, the state government had to relent and honor the power purchase agreements.
Commitment made by the leading industrial conglomerates will likely have a cascading effect inspiring other renewable energy companies to once again consider Andhra Pradesh as a viable investment destination.
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