UPERC issues CRE Regulations Sept 2019

UPERC issued CRE Regulations today, with key features as

1. DSM shall be implemented for all RE except MSW and SHP. For solar as per UPERC (Forecasting, Scheduling and Settlement) Regulations 2018

2. Waivers of 50% of wheeling and transmission Charges for Captive and Third Party use. 100% waiver on transmission for Interstate sale. Waiver as per UP Solar Policy 2017, unless amended, policy allows benefit till useful life of plant as no sunset date specified for waivers unlike ED for which it is 10 yrs.

3. 100% Exemption of state CSS for Interstate sale of power for Captive/Third Party use

4. 15 min energy accounting of all RE plants and should be ABT compliant

5. 100% Banking of Energy for RE except for SHP and MSW and shall be as per technical feasibility specified by DISCOM

6. Withdrawal of banked energy as per TOD system only. No interchange of peak-offpeak banked energy

7. Banking as well withdrawal of banked energy shall be subject to day ahead Scheduling

8. Banked energy utilisation allowed upto next two quarters from the quarter in which energy is banked.

9. Unutilised banked energy to be treated as sale of electricity to discom @2 Rs/unit

10. Banking charges @6% of banked energy and shall be in Kind

UP CRE Regulations 2019_Final

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Low Tariffs Pushing Developers to Cut Costs and Quality of Solar Mounting Structures

With limited ability to reduce prices of modules and inverters, developers are trying to cut costs on other equipment

Low Tariffs Pushing Developers to Cut Costs and Quality of Solar Mounting Structures

Module mounting structures are the backbone of any solar photovoltaic (PV) energy project. Good quality mounting structures on a ground-mounted or rooftop solar project not only helps maintain the optimum generation; these structures need to withstand the weight of solar panels, high wind speeds, and varying temperatures. Lately, aggressive bidding has taken a toll on mounting structures as the quality is being sacrificed to cut costs, which could have a negative consequence on hundreds of solar projects that are supposed to last 25 years in any weather.

This year, there were numerous cases in Odisha where cyclone Fani damaged rooftop as well as ground-mounted solar projects. Similar incidents have been reported from Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. Unlike other equipment deployed in solar energy projects such as modules, inverters, and cables, module mounting structures require customization based on the topography of the land, module design, and the climate of the region. According to mounting structure suppliers, these account for anywhere between 3% to 5% of the total cost of a solar project and are a crucial part of the balance of system (BoS).

“There is an industry-wide concern that several` companies are compromising on module quality, which could lead to the collapse of structures and turn the perception of consumers and investors negative about solar project investments. Module suppliers are blaming the pressure from EPCs and developers who are in turn pointing fingers at the government agencies who they say are forcing their hand with low tariff caps and low bid matching,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital group.

Mounting structures are also expected to have excellent electrical and thermal conductivity and should be available in different thickness to carry a heavy load, apart from being corrosion-resistant and durable, considering the long life of solar projects.

An executive at a large solar energy developer said, “There are many challenges when installing solar projects. Land remains a major constraint for developers and structure manufacturers because mounting structure designs depend on the type of soil. For ground-mount projects, foundation mounting structures are common, but this depends on local climate, module size, and array tilt, among other factors. Anchor systems and driven beams are selected to fit each solar project. Additionally, the efficiency of solar projects depends on the mounting structures as ground-mount systems provide better tilt than rooftop projects. Hence, the choice of the right mounting structures is crucial for solar projects.”

However, due to aggressive bidding in the industry, mounting structure suppliers are feeling the heat. Through interaction with stakeholders in the industry, Mercom found that some developers are cutting corners on these structures. For example – the standard thickness for the structure used to range between 2mm or 3mm, but mounting suppliers are now being pushed to make structures with less than 1 mm thickness having 350 (MPa) tensile strength.

Moreover, EPC contractors are also finding it difficult to maintain the quality of the solar projects due to the corrosion of structures which is affecting power generation – a result of cutting cost while compromising on quality.

Talking about the increasing pressure on mounting structure suppliers to reduce costs, Basant Jain, CEO of Mahindra Susten commented, “The current trend of constantly falling tariffs has brought about a price war in BoS costs. Since the mounting structure is a major part of the BoS, the pressure of reducing the cost is felt to be the highest for these.”

Further, elaborating on the importance of quality mounting structures, Jain said, “In the project design life of 25 years, a structure undergoes many cycles of dynamic loading. The wind being a major reason for the failure of module-mounting structures, it is extremely important to consider all the possible worst-case scenarios in design. Also, being exposed to repeated rainfall and humid weather, poor quality of the material will make it susceptible to accelerated corrosion, thereby not allowing it to serve its complete life.”

Other EPC companies shared similar beliefs about the higher competition among developers leading to degrading quality of solar plants. Aparna Ravikumar, the marketing engineer at Enerparc, a solar EPC company, said “The pressure of quoting low tariff from developers is ultimately resulting in not only quality of BOS but entire plant including modules and inverters. To a certain extent, the price pressure is resulting in some innovative solutions, but the overall impact is that the quality of the plant suffers greatly.”

Diligent design practices and rigorous testing of mounting structures cannot be overlooked. “Design that considers the life of the plant along with the environmental factors and best engineering practices (such as wind speeds, wind tunnel tests, life cycle tests for the components used), usage of new materials with adequate testing, better sourcing, quality monitoring of raw materials – ensuring the right products are used – these can ensure quality mounting structure procurement,” Ravikumar added.

Harshal Akhouri, the co-founder and director of Strolar Mounting System, a mounting structure supplier, said “Since 2008, the Indian steel industry is under pressure due to the falling prices in steel and under very intense competition. To counter this, the steel companies have tried to bring their cost down to match the pricing, and solar is no different. While economies of scale could work in negotiating the price of modules, inverters, and cables by ordering large quantities, you cannot do that in case of mounting systems. Every single project is a different design which makes mass production difficult. To meet the cut-throat competition and the wafer-thin margins, the quality of the steel is compromised. It can be in the form of the grade of steel or thickness or even the coating thickness, which may hurt the long-term durability under tough climatic conditions. A case in point being that of Punjab, Rajasthan, and now Odisha. While you have testing facilities and approval norms for modules, inverters, and cables before they make it to the market, unfortunately, there are no regulatory authorities in place for mounting systems.”

“Large-scale professional developers are relatively more careful in terms of procuring mounting systems and have third-party approval systems well in place, but there are also developers who knowingly use mounting systems of sub-par quality to make margins. One solution to reduce the costs of mounting structure is standardizing the system and streamlining logistics. For one of our larger clients, we have developed standardized mounting system designs which were deployed across various cities in India through warehousing systems. This reduces human resources, timelines, and the cost of implementing the systems,” Akhouri added.

To add to the current issues, an anti-dumping case has been filed against module mounting structure components recently, including aluminum and zinc-coated flat products originating from China, South Korea, and Vietnam.

The National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) recently wrote to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) expressing its concerns over the levy of anti-dumping duty on aluminum and zinc-coated flat products.

The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) is soon going to issue its preliminary findings in the matter. According to NSEFI, approximately 49 GW of solar projects are under various stages of development, and in the next 18 months, they would require up to ~1,500,000 tons of aluminum and zinc-coated flat products.

NSEFI has argued that if a duty is levied, solar PV project developers will raise the claims of tariff adjustment citing the ‘Change in Law’ clause. The entire process of negotiation is then likely to take a long time and adversely affect the project pipelines and the construction timelines across the country. If the anti-dumping duties are imposed on mounting structures, it could result in an increase in components costs and put further pressure on projects.

“While mounting suppliers are facing price pressure, which is resulting in compromised quality, the anti-dumping case, if it goes through, could pose supply issues. Unless regulators are careful; this is a perfect storm that can bring down projects if the structures cannot hold up,” added Prabhu.

The solar industry needs to focus on establishing the best practices for testing and certification of mounting structure products before they are deployed. The quality of raw materials used for these structures is also key for durability. The appropriate choice and design of a mounting structure system are imperative for the optimal performance of a solar energy project, especially in the Indian market.

“Unless the industry reacts quickly and self-corrects, we are going to see unnecessary regulations put in place, further burdening the industry. Insurance costs will also go up if mounting structures start to fail,” said Prabhu.

According to Mercom’s India 2019 Solar Market Leaderboard, there were over 60 suppliers of solar mounting structures active in the Indian market at the end of 2018. The top 10 mounting structure suppliers accounted for 65% of the market share, while the other 50 suppliers accounted for the remaining 35%.

Image credit: Pebspennar

Source: Mercom India

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Market Survey Backsheets and Encapsulation 2019

After TaiyangNews published market surveys on backsheets in 2017 and in 2018, this edition includes also an overview on encapsulation products. This way, this survey combines the latest on polymers to protect the interconnected cell circuitry of a solar module.
For this first market survey on backsheets and encapsulation materials, we received responses from 14 companies that provided data for 96 products, of which 80 are backsheet models and 16 are for encapsulation. Thus, the backsheet part has grown strongly compared to the 61 products of last year’s survey with twocompanies providing their data for the first time – China’sLucky Group and Germany’s Bischof + Klein.
The current market of backsheet offers a wide choice of structures using a variety of polymers. A typical backsheet is a 3-layered structure, in which the PET corefilm is sandwiched by two protective layers. Based on thechemistry of the protective layers, the backsheets canbe categorized into two segments – fluoropolymer basedbacksheets, which contain at least one fluoropolymer film to protect the PET, the other category are non- fluoropolymer based backsheets that are free from halogen components.
When it comes to technology shares of backsheets, as in the past fluoropolymers are dominating the module back cover market, with PVDF ahead of PVF (Tedlar), and followed by glass, non-fluoro-based polyester and others. In the encapsulation field it is all about EVA,except for a small share of polyolefins.
The backsheet field continues to be dominated by twocompanies –Cybrid and Jolywood; in the encapsulation field it is one – Hangzhou First.
There have been many trends in recent years tooptimize the backsheet – using alternative polymers,primers or coatings for the outer and inner layers to cut on cost while striving to keep the protection features of the products. But now a company is coming up with a solution to replace the PET core layer with something that they say is cheaper and provides good qualitybut needs less material – a polypropylene basedsolution from a major chemical company. Though such backsheets have been available in the past, that was only as part of a complete backsheet product. Now Borealis is striving to enable the backsheet laminatorcompanies to make their own polypropylene film for thecore layer
While polypropylene for the core is just being introduced, another new backsheet product has reached the stage that leading module manufacturers are starting to usecommercially – and that is transparent backsheets forsolar’s hottest recent development, bifacial modules. So far, every module manufacturer has been using glass for the backside of its bifacial modules, but clear backsheets have some advantages. After DuPont introduced a new generation clear backsheet based on Tedlar last year, the world’s largest module manufacturer JinkoSolar has recently launched a bifacial module using a clear backsheet.
While polymers are competing with glass for the job of being the backsheet of choice, the polymer-based solution can also be tweaked to take over the mainapplication of glass in solar – a module’s front cover.While this idea is not new, there are new products for cell and module technologies to address “light weight” and BIPV applications.
The encapsulation market is much more consolidated than backsheets. The product of choice is EVA, which is supplied by a ‘handful’ of Chinese companies. Here, the major development is to employ on the rear side white EVA instead of a transparent film. This change is expected to improve module power by 1% due to improved optical gains. The only contender to EVA is polyolefin, but so far solely in the field of glass-glass modules, which, however, due to the rise of bifacial modules has been increasing its shares as of recently.
original link
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Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures – ASCE / SEI 7-05

STANDARD

1 General……………………………………………………………

  1. 1.1  Scope……………………………………………….
  2. 1.2  Definitions …………………………………………….
  3. 1.3  BasicRequirements ………………………………………..
    1. 1.3.1  Strength…………………………………………
    2. 1.3.2  Serviceability……………………………………….
    3. 1.3.3  Self-strainingForces……………………………………
    4. 1.3.4  Analysis…………………………………………
    5. 1.3.5  CounteractingStructuralActions……………………………..
  4. 1.4  GeneralStructuralIntegrity …………………………………….
  5. 1.5  ClassificationofBuildingsandOtherStructures …………………………..
    1. 1.5.1  Nature of Occupancy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    2. 1.5.2  Toxic, Highly Toxic, and Explosive Substances. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  6. 1.6  AdditionsandAlterationstoExistingStructures …………………………..
  7. 1.7  LoadTests …………………………………………….
  8. 1.8  ConsensusStandardsandOtherReferencedDocuments ……………………….

. vii. ix

Click here for the full ASCE 7-05

ASCE 7-05 Minimum Design Loads for buildings and other Struc

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CEEW Study on Impact of Safeguards Duty policy brief 24th June 2019

1. Introduction
Under what conditions can countries impose safeguard duties to protect their domestic industries?

  1. 2.1  The WTO regime on safeguard duties
  2. 2.2  The Indian regime on safeguard duties
  1. The road to the imposition of safeguard duties on solar cell and module 7imports in India
  2. How have countries used trade barriers to protect their domestic PV 11manufacturing industries?
    1. 4.1  United States of America
    2. 4.2  European Union
    3. 4.3  Canada

5. What plagues Indian solar PV manufacturing? 19

  1. 5.1  Inferior terms of debt capital
  2. 5.2  Higher electricity prices
  3. 5.3  Lower scale of operations
  4. 5.4  Lack of vertical integration
  5. 5.5  The changing technological landscape
  6. 5.6  Demand uncertainty
  7. 5.7  Ineffectiveness of existing schemes for promoting manufacturing

6. To what extent does the safeguard duty give protection to the Indian solar 29PV manufacturing story?

  1. 6.1  A considerable portion of Indian PV manufacturing capacity does not benefit
  2. 6.2  Fall in module prices and longer commissioning timelines limit the

    effectiveness of safeguard duties

7. Can the safeguard duty fulfil the said and unsaid policy objectives? 33

  1. 7.1  The duty does not address the causes of the competitive disadvantage associated with Indian PV manufacturing
  2. 7.2  Safeguard duty hinders further declines in tariffs
  3. 7.3  Negative impact on potential employment generation in solar energy sector
  4. 7.4  Effect on investors’ confidence
  1. What lies ahead?
  2. Conclusions

10. Recommendations

 

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India’s goods and services tax – implication on PPAs – Video

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Best Practises Handbook on Performance Evaluation, Operations and Maintenance of Solar PV Power Plants in India

A must read for all Solar PV Plant Owners and Operators

Click the link below

Comprehensive Solar O&M Handbook

 

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