SECI Schemes See June-July Capacity Additions Hit 24 Month Low

If Project commissionings under the schemes auctioned by SECI (Solar Energy Corporation of India) are any indication, solar and wind projects could really struggle to recover from a deep trough this year. Not only are delays, especially for wind energy projects in Gujarat, and lately, solar projects in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu becoming endemic, it simply doesn’t look like 2019-20 can come close to even the final commissioned figures for 2018-19, when a total of  8.5GW of capacity  was commissioned.  Readers will recall that even the 2018-19 figures benefited from the boomtime momentum of 2017-18 when additions had been closer to 11.5 GW, a momentum that has clearly fizzled out completely now.

As of now, it looks like schemes under SECI saw barely 500 MW of total project comissionings in June and July this year, possibly the lowest figures in the past 24 months, for fresh capacity addition. And based on inputs we have received from developers, August may not see a lot of fresh capacity too.

New Commissionings in June-July for Projects Under SECI

These poor numbers for projects available under SECI, by far the biggest single nodal agency for renewable power in India, point to a gloomy situation on the ground. With the plethora of cancellations, delays and now, even the PPA mess in Andhra Pradesh, it portends a tough 2019-20 for the sector.

‘Game changers’ , like the 7.5 GW Leh project, or even the 3GW manufacturing linked tenders are either stuck in logistical issues or lack of response. Even as the tendering process picks up speed yet again, the drop off in momentum in terms of actual awarding of projects that was seen from September to March this year is bound to show its affects going forward too. Even the projects being commissioned are well behind schedule in some cases, especially the Tranche 2 and 3 wind energy projects, which got entangled in a change in state land acquisition issues in Gujarat. SECI has done its best with deadline extensions, and now the MNRE’s efforts to streamline payment issues too, but one fears, it will take more than a miraculous acceleration to ensure the country gets anywhere close to its 175 GW target by 2022.

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