Indian Railways has awarded a total of 30 MW of rooftop solar contracts to two firms, with Azure Power set to develop 20 MW and Fourth Partner Energy developing the other 10 MW.
The 20 MW slated to be developed by Azure Power will power Indian Railway facilities across 17 states and union territories. The power will be sold at a tariff range of ₹3.64 – 4.49 (~$0.06 – 0.07)/kWh that varies based on location. Azure Power will receive a capital incentive from Indian Railways that is expected to result in a weighted average levelized tariff of ₹4.88 (~$0.08)/kWh.
This is the second major rooftop solar contract that Azure Power has won from Indian Railways and it raises the company’s cumulative award total to 66 MW. In March, Azure Power was named the winning bidder to develop several other rooftop solar projects totaling a combined 46 MW of capacity. The average tariff for those Indian Railways projects was ₹4.63 (~$0.07)/kWh, with an additional capital incentive of ₹933.5 million (~$14 million) due upon commissioning.
Meanwhile, the other most recent winning bidder – Fourth Partner Energy – is slated to develop its 10 MW of rooftop solar at Indian Railway’s facilities in Varanasi, Jabalpur, and Gorakhpur.
A Fourth Partner Energy executive told Mercom that tariffs vary from a low of ₹3.50 (~$0.053)/kWh to a high of ₹4.80 (~$0.073)/kWh for the projects with no incentives. A separate tariff range of ₹3.50 (~$0.053)/kWh to ₹3.90 (~$0.059)/kWh will be applied to projects for which Indian Railways is providing an incentive for up to 15 percent of project cost.
Indian Railways operates over 8,000 railway stations across India and the demand for clean energy to fuel its operations has created a niche market for rooftop developers and solar inverter suppliers to work in tandem.
According to Mercom India Research, the demand for clean energy to fuel Ministry of Railways operations has led to the approval of incentives for 500 MW of solar capacity and Central Financial Assistance to the tune of ₹6 billion (~$91 million) for grid‑connected solar rooftop systems.
According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Azure Power has installed 24 MW of rooftop solar and has another 100 MW under development, while Fourth Partner Energy has installed 50 MW of rooftop solar and has another 15 MW under development.
Image credit: Flickr
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.