The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) on Tuesday invited applications from solar module manufacturers for a Rs 4,500-crore in production-linked incentive (PLI) Center. Beneficiaries of the PLI program will be selected by competitive bidding and bidding will be conducted on the basis of the proposed production capacity established by the companies and the amount of basic products required for the production of solar panels promised to be manufactured in India.

Cabinet approved the scheme on March 31. Applicants must establish a brownfield or greenfield production facility provided under the scheme, but will not be eligible for a PLI if they have imported the necessary plant material. The PLI rate for brownfield projects will be 50% of the greenfield project level. The application deadline is June 30 and award papers will be issued to successful applicants on July 30. Manufacturing units that have availed benefits under the modified special incentive package scheme (M-SIPS) programme of electronics ministry will not be eligible PLI.

Just following the announcement of the PLI solar day in March, Tata Power Solar Systems invested in the distribution of an additional 400 megawatts (MW) modules (MW) of modules and power for the cell production plant, taking a total capacity of 1,100 MW. Gautam Solar recently doubled the capacity of the panel to 250 MW at its Haridwar facility and the Premier of Hyderabad has invested Rs 43 crores to increase its production capacity of up to 1,500 MW per annum from the current 500 MW base. ReNew Power will also upgrade a 2 giga-watt (GW) cell and module production facilities in Dholera, Gujarat.

The scheme could generate 8-12 GW solar power / module production capacity annually in India, and could directly earn only 8-13% of the solar equipment requirement up to FY30, India estimates had indicated earlier this month. Currently, 3 GW of cell production units and 10 GW of home solar module makers should import most of their equipment.

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