First Solar plans $684-million solar manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu

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July 31, 2021 3:00 AM

Hyderabad-based Premier Energies recently said it intends to invest around Rs 1,200 crore in the next two years to expand its solar module and cell manufacturing capacity and the planned unit will be considered for bidding for incentives under the PLI scheme.

To ramp up domestic manufacturing, the Union Cabinet has already approved the introduction of production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme in 10 key sectors, under which Rs 4,500 crore has been earmarked for Indian solar module manufacturers for a five-year period.To ramp up domestic manufacturing, the Union Cabinet has already approved the introduction of production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme in 10 key sectors, under which Rs 4,500 crore has been earmarked for Indian solar module manufacturers for a five-year period.

US-based solar firm First Solar on Friday said it intends to invest $684 million in a new 3,300 megawatt (MW) module manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu.

“India is an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy, with a well-defined goal that will need over 25,000 MW of solar to be deployed every year for the next nine years,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar.

If it receives incentives from the Centre, the facility is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2023, the company said.

First Solar did not specify the scheme under which it is expecting incentives.

To ramp up domestic manufacturing, the Union Cabinet has already approved the introduction of production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme in 10 key sectors, under which Rs 4,500 crore has been earmarked for Indian solar module manufacturers for a five-year period.

Domestic developers have preferred to import cheaper equipment, mostly from China, to build solar plants in the country. To boost domestic manufacturing, the Centre had imposed a 25% safeguard duty on solar imports from China and Malaysia in July 2018 for two years, which was extended till July 2021 at a rate of 15%. From the beginning of FY23, solar module imports will attract a basic customs duty of 40%.

Hyderabad-based Premier Energies recently said it intends to invest around Rs 1,200 crore in the next two years to expand its solar module and cell manufacturing capacity and the planned unit will be considered for bidding for incentives under the PLI scheme.

Kolkata-headquartered Vikram Solar has also said it plans to “add another 3,000 MW of integrated module, cell and wafer manufacturing capacity in the next five years” which might be considered for PLI after “critical deliberations on the tenets of the scheme”.

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