By Rajesh Kumar Singh
First Solar Inc. and Avaada Group are among winners of India’s Rs 195 billion ($2.4 billion) in incentives to encourage domestic manufacturing of solar modules.
Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar won a government grant of Rs 11.78 billion for its planned 3.4 gigawatt Tamil Nadu plant, which will be a fully integrated facility, Sujoy Ghosh, the company’s India managing director, said by phone.
Avaada Group, backed by Thailand’s oil and gas major PTT Pcl, was also awarded a grant, according to its chairman, Vineet Mittal. The company won a production-linked incentive of 9.62 billion rupees for 3 gigawatts of capacity — from wafers to cells and modules, he said, adding the company would consider expanding the project to 5 gigawatts.
India plans to more than quadruple its solar generation capacity to 280 gigawatts by 2030, making it an attractive market for module makers. The country has levied import taxes to protect local makers, although it has had to relax a key non-tariff barrier to imports temporarily to prevent a slowdown in project installations.
Reliance Industries Ltd., Tata Power Co. and ReNew Energy Global Plc were among other bidders last month for the government aid. There’s no official information yet on other winners.