Adani Green Energy has successfully
commissioned a 648 MW solar project in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu. The cost of the project
was $679 million (~Rs.45.6 billion) and took eight months to complete, according
to Adani. Mercom had previously reported that 360 MW out of the total capacity
of 648 MW had been commissioned in March 2016 with the remaining 288 MW delayed
due to evacuation issues. This latest announcement confirms the full 648 MW
solar project has been connected to the grid.
According to the Mercom India
Quarterly Report, solar power
from Adani has been curtailed up to 50 percent in Tamil Nadu creating a tough
situation for the company. In Tamil Nadu, curtailment is mostly due to the
utility opting to buy cheaper power from the exchanges rather than paying Rs.7
(~$0.1045)/kWh for solar (for which the state signed PPAs). Solar project
development in Tamil Nadu is extremely risky with most banks unwilling to
invest in the state.
Adani stated that the tariff rate has not yet
been decided due to a pending legal case between Adani and Tamil Nadu
Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) which could take about a month to
reach final settlement. Until that time,
they will be operating at their previous tariff price of Rs.7.1 (~$0.105)/unit. Tamil
Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO), the state distribution
company has reduced the tariffs of solar projects commissioned after March 31,
2016 under the state policy to Rs.5.1 (~$0.076)/unit.
Mercom had reported
earlier that Tata Power had become the largest developer in solar sector after
the acquisition of Welspun. Now, with the commissioning of this 648 MW solar
project, Adani has emerged as the largest developer with 698 MW in operation
and 1,280 MW under various stages of development. In terms of operational
projects, Adani comes a close second to Tata Power which has an operational
capacity of 760 MW.