According to reports, a senior official of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has told Business Line that six out of the seven solar thermal projects that were won by private developers in the first round of bidding under the National Solar Mission, are on track. He said the MNRE was closely monitoring the progress of the projects. Only with respect to one 20 MW project “I have my doubts”, he said. The only 20 MW project among the seven is that of Aurum Energy. Officials of the company could not be contacted for a comment.
The official said that the proponents of this project wanted to change the technology. They were told by MNRE to submit a revised project plan for approval, but no such revised proposal has been brought to the Ministry as yet, he said.
However, developers of the other six projects are on track, the official said. Mainly, equipment ordering is advanced in respect of them.
The seven projects are of a total capacity of 470 MW.
Also, one of these projects of capacity 100 MW is part of the broader investigation on Lanco where the company is accused to have misled the Government on the question of ownership of projects. The solar CSP projects have faced a lot of difficulty in financial closure and the costs for this technology have not fallen as they have in the solar PV technology, leading to a (global) situation where a number of developers in both US and Europe have re-appealed to the regulators for permits to change the projects from CSP to PV technology.