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India added nearly 2,247 Mw of solar capacity during July-September period, registering a 15.40 per cent growth as compared to 1,947 MW added in Q2 of 2017, a recent survey revealed. According to the survey by Mercom Capital, with the addition of 2,247 Mw, the cumulative installed capacity between January-Spetember 2017 stands at 7,149 MW. "With over 7,149 Mw, solar is now the leading new energy source in India, accounting for 39 per cent of total new power capacity additions in the first nine months of 2017," the report said. It further said, in the third quarter, large-scale solar projects accounted for 1,982 Mw and made up 88 per cent of installations, while rooftop installations totaled 265 MW and accounted for the remaining 12 per cent. "Large-scale installations doubled year-on-year and rose 15 per cent from the second quarter to the third quarter," it said. Mercom said the pipeline of utility-scale projects currently stands at 11,500 Mw with another 5,600 Mw of tenders awaiting auction. "Even though the Indian solar market is on pace for a record-breaking year, the momentum has definitely slowed," Mercom Capital Group CEO Raj Prabhu said. He further said there are around 1000 Mw of large-scale solar projects that are complete but unable to get connected to the grid and these factors are likely to lead to a weaker-than-projected fourth quarter. The report said that due to a 14 per cent increase in Chinese module prices, the pending anti-dumping case, PPA re-negotiations in some states, incomplete infrastructure, evacuation issues, port customs duty, and a lack of clarity surrounding the GST, the sector faced many challenges during the third quarter of 2017. "All of these factors led to an overall slowdown in installations and a slowdown in tenders and auctions, resulting in a reduction in the installation forecasts for 2017 and 2018," it said. The report forecasts that total solar installations in India will range from 9,500 Mw to 10,000 Mw in the full calendar year 2017 and around 7,000 Mw in 2018. "It has become challenging to pin down an installation number as so many projects that are completed are stranded and unable to commission due to evacuation delays.
It will depend on what can get connected to the grid by the end of the year," Mercom India managing director Priya Sanjay said.