In the first quarter of 2024, the country added over 1.8 GW of solar open access capacity, doubling from 909 MW in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to a report by Mercom India.

In March 2024 quarter, solar open access developers benefitted from lower Chinese module prices and the suspension of the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) order for projects commissioned through March 2024.

Many developers delayed their module procurements until Q4 2023, anticipating lower prices and subsequently commissioned their projects in Q1 2024, leading to a sharp rise in installations. Additionally, reduced power purchase agreement (PPA) prices, due to lower project costs, further incentivised consumers to adopt solar open access, the report noted.

Rajasthan led the way in solar open access capacity additions in Q1 2024, accounting for almost 28 per cent of the quarter’s installations. Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra followed, contributing 21 per cent and nearly 12 per cent of capacity additions, respectively.

“Demand for green energy open access, especially solar, has been mounting, driven by financial savings and initiatives to incorporate renewable energy into the power procurement mix. An additional push comes from corporates leading climate change mitigation strategies. If not for regulatory restrictions, green energy open access could be the driving force helping India meet its non-fossil fuel targets,” said Priya Sanjay, Managing Director at Mercom India.

Solar open access installation

In 2023, the solar open access market added 3.2 GW of capacity, slightly more than the 3 GW added in 2022.

As of March 2024, the pipeline of solar open access projects under development and in the pre-construction phase, stood at more than 18 GW. Nearly 74 per cent of these projects were in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Adani Hybrid Energy emerged as the leading seller in the green day-ahead market (G-DAM), accounting for about 14 per cent of electricity sold.

By March 2024, the cumulative installed solar open access capacity reached 14.3 GW. Karnataka remained the top state for cumulative installations, contributing nearly 30 per cent of the country’s solar open access capacity. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu ranked second and third, with 13 per cent and 11 per cent of cumulative installations, respectively. The top five states accounted for over 71 per cent of cumulative solar open access installations.