India’s Karnataka state announced its solar power policy outlining terms for 350 megawatts of capacity that it’s targeting to build by 2016.
Under the program, Karnataka on India’s southwest coast plans to awardpermits to companies to build 200 megawatts of projects through biddingand the remaining 150 megawatts by application, according to a copy ofthe policy posted on the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd.website.
Solar photovoltaic projects, which use panels to convert sunlightdirectly into electricity, must be 3 megawatts to 10 megawatts in size,it said. Solar thermal plants that use the sun to heat liquids toproduce steam for generators must be at least 5 megawatts.
India aims to boost development of alternative energy as waning growthin conventional power output threatens to deepen a slowdown in Asia’sthird-largest economy. State-run programs have been among the mostambitious, such as western Gujarat state, which has awarded 959megawatts of solar projects, almost the capacity of one nuclear powerplant.
Karnataka will use a bidding process that will award capacity to thosedevelopers who offer to sell their solar power at the steepest discountto the state tariff, the policy said.
The current tariff for solar power plants set by the state electricityregulator is 14.50 rupees per kilowatt-hour for photovoltaic plants and11.35 rupees per kilowatt-hour for solar thermal plants, according to atariff order on the website of the Karnataka Electricity RegulatoryCommission.
Karnataka requires power distribution companies to procure 0.25 percentof their electricity from solar resources, which will create demand forsun-powered electricity, according to the policy