Hyderabad: The Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission has set the stage for tapping of about 2,000 mega watt (MW) of solar energy, allowing the southern and northern distribution companies to purchase solar power at Rs 5.72 and Rs 5.59 per unit respectively.
An expert committee had approved 66 bids, of which 38 were cleared to tap 488 MW of solar power at Rs 5.72 per unit. Another 28 bids were cleared for 1,500 mega watt (MW) of solar power, to be purchased at Rs 5.59 per unit.
The deadline is 12 months for commercial operations to start for 488 mega watt (MW), and over 18 months for 1,500 MW.
Solar power developers will establish projects at places located near 400, 220 KV and 220/132 KV sub-stations to meet certain technical specifications.
Experts said the tariff approved by TSERC was on the higher side, and consumers would have to pay the difference.
Mr M Venugopal Rao of the Centre for Power Development said the Union renewable energy ministry had written to the state government offering solar power at Rs 4.50 per unit and questioned the price of Rs 5.72 and 15.59 approved by the commission,
“The power purchase agreement with solar power developers is for 25 years. When the state government is saying it will become power surplus by 2018-19, where is the need for for such long-term power purchase agreements,” Mr Venugopal Rao asked and wanted discoms to make public the reasons for offering higher tariff to solar power producers.
Telangana State Transco joint managing director C. Srinivasa Rao said there was no foul play in the deal which was finalised through competitive bidding. The process was transparent and put in the public domain from time to time, he said.
“We are going to purchase solar power from the Union ministry as well. It will call for tenders and the price will be fixed as per the bidding,” he said.
Mr Rao said that according to the Centre’s power policy, every state should ensure that eight per cent of its power requirements is met through solar energy. “If the PPA is for 25 years, it is good as the state government will use solar energy to that extent instead of thermal power,” he said.
He said locating the plants near sub-stations would result in huge savings as transmission and distribution losses would be less.
Source From Deccan chronicle
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