According to reports, the government hopes that by dishing out larger projects, and allowing developers to build more than one solar farm, it will attract more blue-chip technology and construction companies to the PV sector, says Deepak Gupta, secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
India aims to have 500MW of grid-connected PV and another 500MW of concentrating solar power in the ground by the end of 2013 as part of the NSM’s first phase.
Two future stages are to bring the total to 20GW by 2022, as India stretches to become a global solar-energy powerhouse.
The government hopes that by expanding zone sizes in the upcoming second tender it will lure bigger names with deeper pockets. Technically still part of the NSM’s first phase, which runs to the end of 2013, it will include as much as 300MW of PV capacity.
“We kept the initial phase at 5MW [per zone] because we wanted more people and more states to gain experience,” Gupta tells Recharge.
“Now that there are more people and momentum, the size will be either 20MW or 25MW, and we may allow a particular group to do more than that, in the sense of more projects.
“So you could do two projects of 25MW or three projects of 25MW — we haven’t decided on a limit. We hope this will allow for better economies of scale and help to bring down costs.”