India’s first tender for providing round the clock (RTC) solar power disovered the lowest tariff of Rs 2.9 per kwh (unit). ReNew Power was the winning bidder with the whole 400 megawatt (Mw) capacity. Other bidders were Greenko, Ayana and HES Renewable.
The tariff would escalate by three per cent annually for 15 years taking the levellised (average) tariff of the project to Rs 3.6 per unit, said industry executives. This rate is closer to the average rate of thermal power in India.
The RTC tender was floated by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to supply power from solar power plant all around the day. SECI is the nodal tendering agency under the ministry of new and renewable energy.
The project developer will have the option of building a hybrid plant with wind and hydro power or have energy storage systems.
There is flexibility given in using type of storage system as well. It could be battery system or pump storage or any of the available technology.
The tender was oversubscribed by the industry which quoted close to 950 Mw capacity against the 400 Mw offered by the government. The power from the project will be procured by New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Dadar and Nagar Haveli.
In January this year, the Union government recently announced a scheme of bundling renewable energy with thermal (coal/gas) based power and sell them together. The draft scheme proposes supply of round-the-clock (RTC) power from renewable (RE) power projects, complemented with power from thermal power projects.
It is aimed at bringing down the overall cost of power supplied to buying utilities; improve penetration of renewable energy; reduce the intermittency issues of RE and meet the round-the-clock requirement of DISCOMS, said the draft.
The idea is to ensure optimum utilisation and sale of renewable power and thereby reduce the cost of power at the consumers’ end. This would also help states meet their mandatory renewable purchase obligation (RPO). The draft is yet to be finalised with comments from the stakeholders.