Tata Power Wins Approval to Postpone Solar Target Until 2016

Dec 23, 2013 1:56 am ET

Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Tata Power Co. won approval from an Indian state electricity regulator to postpone fulfillment of annual solar-power procurement targets by as many as five years to 2016.

The utility unit of India’s biggest industrial group has been unable since 2010 to source enough solar power to meet government renewable mandates because of a shortage of sun-based generation in the country, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission said in a Dec. 20 order.

“It faced a genuine difficulty,” the commission said, waiving fines and ordering the company to fulfill five years of targets by March 31, 2016.

The government requires electricity distributors and large industrial companies to get as much as 10 percent of their power each year from renewables. In Maharashtra state, where Tata Power generates and distributes electricity, the company faced a solar procurement target of 0.25 percent that rises to 0.5 percent in the financial year starting April.

India doesn’t have the 3,500 megawatts of installed solar capacity required to allow all companies to comply with their obligations, according to the order. As of October, the nation had 2,080 megawatts, less than 60 percent of the capacity needed, according to data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

--Editors: Ana Monteiro, Alastair Reed