Adani Commissions 648 MW Solar Project in Tamil Nadu After Evacuation Delays

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.

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