No legal sanctity to Tangedco’s transparent bidding process for power purchase from 52 companies, says TNERC

The State’s solar mission has come to a nought.

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has passed an order stating that there is no legal sanctity to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation’s (Tangedco) transparent bidding process for solar power purchase from 52 companies.

“The bidding process has no legal sanctity for consideration under Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003,” said TNERC members S. Nagalsamy and G. Rajagopal in an order on Monday, a copy of which is available with The Hindu.

“The petitions suffer from the prerequisite of transparent bidding process in accordance with the guidelines issued be the Central government,” the order said dismissing the Tangedco’s petitions to approve its proposal to purchase 708 MW of solar power from 52 generators within the State for 20 years.

Reproducing Section 63 (Determination of Tariff by bidding process) of the Electricity Act, 2003 in its order, the commission said the words “in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Central government” in the section were significant.

The TNERC said the petitioner had averred that there were no Central guidelines and the Ministry of Renewable Energy had issued draft guidelines only on December 27, 2012 – that is after the tender invited by the Tangedco.

As specified in the Section 63, the Centre’s guidelines were a prerequisite for the transparent process of bidding. Therefore, the Tangedco’s bidding had no legal sanctity for consideration under Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003, the TNERC ruled.

When the Tangedco contended that they followed Tamil Nadu Transparency in Tenders Act 1998 for conducting the bidding, the TNERC said it was an accepted principle that “If a statute directs a thing to be done in certain way that thing shall not be done in any other way.”

“It is legally invalid to follow any other terms / procedure for the bidding process,” the TNERC said categorically.

Source: TheHindu

Posted in Commercial, DISCOM, Grid Connected, India, News, Power Generation, PV, Renewables, Solar, Solar Policy, Tamil Nadu | Tagged , , , , ,

Tamil Nadu TNERC announces new tariff for Solar at ₹ 7.01 per KWh PV and ₹ 11.03 per KWh Thermal

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has announced new tariff for solar power producers who put up plants in the state. They would be paid Rs 7.01 per unit of power generated from a solar photovoltaic plant, and Rs 11.03 for a solar thermal power plant.

“The tariff isn’t great, but we will go ahead with the project since we have land, funding,” said M Umapathi chairman and managing director of Voltech Group, which is planning a 10MW plant near Tuticorin. “The tariff is at least better than the one of Rs 6.48 that was proposed in the draft plan,” he said.

Since the announcement of the TN Solar policy in 2012, solar activity in the state had virtually come to a standstill. Sections of the policy were caught in legal tussles and tariffs on projects were undecided. Now, with the new tariff package, solar power generation is expected to pick up.

“The tariff of Rs 7.01 is a general tariff for any solar power plant that is set up in the state. A decision on projects under the solar policy will be out very soon,” an official source said.

Preparing for an increase in solar power generation, the TNERC is also expected to increase the solar component of the Renewable Power Obligation (RPO) from 0.25% to 2% since the state electricity utility would need to create demand to sell the solar power that is generated. The RPO mandates all companies and certain other entities to procure a certain portion of their power needs from renewable sources. “An order regarding this will come soon,” a source said.

Tariffs (per unit) in states which have announced a solar policy:

Rajasthan – Rs 6.45 Andhra Pradesh – Rs 6.49 Punjab – Rs 7.2 Uttar Pradesh – Rs 8.1 Normative, generic tariff given by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission – Rs 6.99

Source: TOI

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Karnataka farmers can now generate power & sell it to the grid at a tariff of Rs 9.56 per unit and a tariff of Rs 7.20 per unit on availing of subsidies

The 15-month-old Siddaramaiah regime has come up with a scheme for the agriculture sector, which if goes according to the script, might turn farmers net sellers of solar power to the grid.

The government is geared up to roll out what it calls the solar farmer scheme. With the help of subsidies or on his own, a farmer can switch to solar-powered irrigation pump (IP) sets. He can use as much electricity as he needs and sell the surplus to the grid.

If the farmer has invested on his own, he will get a tariff of Rs 9.56 per unit. If he has taken subsidies, he will get a tariff of Rs 7.20 per unit. The energy department is targeting the farm sector because it accounts for an estimated 38-40% of the total power consumed in Karnataka. There are an estimated 2.5 million IP sets in use, and they run on free electricity. The power subsidy to the farm sector has grown at an average rate of 18% since 2007, and the government has budgeted Rs 6,700 crore for this fiscal year.

“The biggest complaint of farmers is that they get part of the regular power supply at night. If they switch to solar power, they can not only get the power during day time, but can also can earn some income by selling the surplus,” energy minister DK Shivakumar told ET.

The Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL), the agency under the energy department, has plans to replace 2500 IP sets in five districts with solar-powered pump set systems of 5 HP-capacity this year. Since most farmers can’t afford a solar pump system as it requires an investment of Rs 1.25 lakh per kilo-watt (KW) capacity, the government is working on plans to rope in the private sector.

According to GV Balaram, managing director of KREDL, a farmer running a 5 KW solar photo-voltaic panel and selling one third of the power generated can earn about Rs 23,900 a year as one KW panel can generate an average of 4.5-5 units a day. The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) provides subsidy for IP sets only up to 5 HP, and Karnataka has written to MNRE urging it to increase it to 10 HP.

There are, of course, concerns within the government about the power purchase costs shooting up if a good chunk of farmers switch to the scheme.

The average cost of power purchase in Karnataka is Rs 4.30 per unit from non-hydel channels while the average cost of solar power purchase is in the range of Rs 6.93 and Rs 8.40 a unit.

Power utilities are required to see 10% of the energy that they buy is sourced from non-conven tional sources, and there are concerns in the finance department that breaching this cap might increase purchase costs.

According to Balaram, the state electricity regulator has fixed the solar power purchase obligation at 0.25% for 2014-15 and the same will reach 3% by 2021 under national solar mission guidelines.

“We have to scale up our solar capacity to at least 2000 MW from the current levels of under 50 MW, and add 0.25 % each year to reach these levels. The financial burden from increased purchase costs of solar power will in any case be passed on to consumers by the regulator,” he said.

Source:ET

Posted in Grid Connected, Grid Interactive Distributed Solar Energy Systems, India, Karnataka, Net Metering, PV, Renewables, Solar, Solar Policy, Solar Pumps | Tagged , , , , ,

Draft Scheme for Development of 20GW Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar power projects – Circulation for Comments Sept 2014

MNRE through this scheme plans setting up 25 solar parks, each with a capacity of 500 to 1000 MW; thereby targeting around 20000 MW of solar power installed capacity. These solar parks will be put in place in a span of 5 years and the solar projects may then come up as per demand and interest shown by developers.

At the state level, the solar park will enable the states to bring in significant investment from project developers, meet its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) mandates and provide employment opportunities to local population. The state will also reduce its carbon footprint by avoiding emissions equivalent to the solar park’s installed capacity. Further, the state will also avoid procuring expensive fossil fuels to power conventional power plants of equivalent installed capacity.

The solar park will provide a huge impetus to solar energy generation by acting as a flagship demonstration facility to encourage project developers and investors, prompting additional projects of similar nature, triggering economies of scale for cost-reductions, technical improvements and achieving large scale reductions in GHG emissions. Some Ultra Mega projects may be set up in these Parks or entire parts may be an Ultra Mega Power Projects.

Click here for the full document

Posted in India, MNRE, Power Generation, PV, Renewables, Solar, Subsidy, Transmission and Distribution | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Punjab now approves net metering for Solar – targets 100 MW

India’s Punjab state approved a policy allowing businesses and households to earn credits for solar power produced on rooftops as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to accelerate installations to combat blackouts.

The state cabinet passed a net-metering policy that’s expected to drive 100 megawatts of rooftop capacity in the northwestern state, Amarpal Singh, chief executive officer of the Punjab Energy Development Agency, said today.

Net-metering is a system that credits people for energy they can’t consume on-site. Those generating solar power will feed the surplus into the grid and earn credits to reduce their next electricity bill. The local power distributor will pay them for any remaining credits at the end of October each year, said Singh on the sidelines of a conference in Noida, near Delhi.

Delhi regulators introduced a similar program this week for the nation’s blackout-prone capital as state-level policy makers spearhead an effort to replicate rooftop solar booms that have made countries like Germany and Japan among the largest photovoltaic markets in the world despite getting far less sun.

Modi’s administration has pledged to broaden India’s solar industry beyond large, utility-scale plants in the desert. Power Minister Piyush Goyal is seeking to spur smaller, more distributed solar installations by fitting everything from farm irrigation pumps and village huts to mall rooftops with photovoltaic panels.

Punjab is promoting both small rooftop projects and large farms, Singh said. The state is identifying land for a 1,000-megawatt solar project and expects to call for bids shortly, he said.

The state will also build a 200-megawatt solar plant to supply agricultural feeder lines used by farmers, Singh said. About a fifth of India’s electricity is used in agriculture to run irrigation pumps and is supplied nearly free of cost by state utilities.

Punjab intends to eliminate agricultural power subsidies by feeding all of the electricity from the solar plant to farms, Singh said. Any excess generated will be sold at market rates.

Posted in DISCOM, Energy Minister, Government, India, Net Metering, Pollution, Prime Minister, Renewables, Residential, Rooftop, Solar, Solar Policy | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Delhi announces net metering regulations

Delhi took a huge leap in renewable energy generation on Tuesday. Power watchdog Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) announced regulations for net metering of renewable energy, giving Delhiites a chance to become renewable energy suppliers. The regulations outline how people can generate renewable energy in their premises, and then reduce their electricity bills by the amount of power they supply to the grid. The regulations are expected to be enforced within a week.

While the net metering regulations apply to all forms of renewable energy like solar, hydro and wind, in Delhi only solar generation is feasible. Many households and organizations already generate solar power for their own consumption, but the new regulations will allow them to supply to the grid and receive energy credits or adjust the units supplied against their electricity bills.

DERC chairperson P D Sudhakar said, “With this, consumers can set up their own solar panels and either supply directly to the grid or use it partially. Whatever you supply to the grid, you can draw back whenever you need it”. How much power a person supplies and draws back from the grid will be metered. If they draw more than they supply, the difference will be billed to them. If they draw less, they will be given energy credits in the next billing cycle.

To become a renewable energy generator, a person will have to apply to their area’s discom for a connection to the renewable energy system. The discom will then allow the connection after analyzing transformer-level capacity. “The capacity of renewable energy system to be installed at any premises shall be subject to the feasibility of interconnection with the grid, the available capacity of the service line connection of the consumers of the premises, and the sanctioned load of the consumer. Minimum capacity for the renewable energy system should not be less than 1kW peak,” said an official on Tuesday.

Two meters will be installed in the consumer’s premises — a renewable energy meter to measure total renewable energy generated, and a net meter to measure the difference between the power drawn and contributed to the grid. Check meters can be installed by either party at their own cost. “Charges for the testing and installation of net meters will be borne by the consumer, and those for the renewable energy meter by the distribution licensee,” the regulations state.

Many large-scale power consumers like malls, hospitals, schools and government buildings already generate solar power. “The MoEF building in Jor Bagh generates up to 1MW power which it is unable to use. Now it can supply its excess power to the grid and get adjustments in its power bills. We also hope households will opt for renewable energy generation,” said a DERC official. For discoms, the advantage is that any renewable energy they source in this way will count towards their renewable power obligations that they have not been able to meet.

Source: TOI

Posted in India, News, Power Generation, Renewables, Residential, Rooftop, Solar | Tagged , , , , , ,

Telangana turns to solar power – Issues RFS for 500 MW

The Telangana government is placing its bets on the sun to help it tide over the energy crisis. With the state enjoying nearly 300 days of sunshine each year, the Telangana southern and northern power distribution companies have decided to go ahead with a proposal to set up a 500 MW capacity solar power plant in Adilabad district.

“The TSSPDCL has called for Request for Selection to set up solar power units through competitive bidding. The bids would be finalized by the end of September and the solar power units will become operational within 10 months,” TSSPDCL director (projects) T Srinivas told TOI.

The selected bidder would set up the solar power generation units by getting all clearances and permissions from local bodies and the Centre. Energy measurement, billing and accounting of energy distributed would be done by the power distribution companies. The developers would set up the units on build-own-operate basis and supply power through inter connectivity to the substations for a period of 25 years. This is the first time that the state is moving ahead with a concrete plan to add solar power to the energy generation mix in the state.

All the 10 districts of Telangana have been reeling under power shortages, especially during the past few months. Even during the monsoon, the power distribution companies (discoms) have been imposing three to six hour power cuts both in urban and rural areas. With the demand from the agriculture sector not being met adequately, farmers have been attacking electricity sub-stations in various parts of the state for failing to provide uninterrupted power supply.

“The five districts- Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medak, Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar- under TSSPDCL need 4,000 MW per day while the current allocation is only 3,500 to 3,600 MW,” a chief general manager of TSSPDCL said.

Since the state is unable to meet the energy demand through existing thermal and hydel power stations, and a very poor monsoon is complicating the energy requirement scenario, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had previously asked the discoms to explore utilization of solar power and other sources. The solar power units would have inter-connectivity through 33 kv, 132 kv and 220 kv sub-stations.

More thermal power expected

Meanwhile, officials are hopeful of adding another 1,200 MW of thermal power in the state by next year with the Singareni Collieries Company Limited expected to set up two thermal power stations of 600 MW capacity each in Jaipur mandal in Adilabad district. Official sources said though the plants are expected to be ready only in November 2015, the chief minister reportedly directed the SCCL officials to speed up the works and begin generation in the first quarter of 2015.

Source: TOI

Click here for the RFS document

Posted in DISCOM, Grid Connected, India, PV, Renewables, Solar, Telangana, Transmission and Distribution | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,