In January-March, India added 518 MW of new open solar energy capacity from 308 MW in the previous three months.
India installed 518 MW of new outdoor solar capacity in the first three months of 2023, up more than 68% from 308 MW in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to Mercom India. Installations fell by 37% from a year ago.
Karnataka led with over 55% capacity addition in the first quarter, followed by Maharashtra (14%) and Tamil Nadu (8%). As of March 2023, the pipeline of open access solar projects was 6.4 GW, with Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat accounting for more than 68 percent of the pipeline.
The price reduction of the modules and the easing of ALMM mandates led to a decrease in project costs in the first quarter, which makes PPA prices attractive. This along with C&I units meeting the RPO added capacity.
Cumulative installed solar open capacity reached 8.3 GW by March 31, 2023, with Karnataka leading at over 37% and Maharashtra at over 12% of total installations.
“Despite regulatory challenges in many states, demand for open access solar energy continues to grow among industries and commercial units looking to lower their energy costs and lock in tariffs for the long term,” said Priya Sanjay, CEO, Mercom India. “With most of the state’s downsides driving up retail prices and the cost of solar projects coming down, growth could continue over the next few quarters.”
The report provides a detailed analysis of the solar open access segment in 17 states, including open access fees, retail prices, and market size.