REC trade results – August 2018

Non-Solar: Non-solar RECs prices continue to rise with robust demand but the clearance volume is constrained due to limited supply availability. This session the RECs were traded at the price of INR 1101 at PXIL (10.1% above the floor price) and INR 1200 at IEX (20% above the floor price). The non-solar REC inventory completely exhausted in August 2018 with a clearing ratio of 100% at PXIL & IEX both respectively. A total of 3,33,479 RECs were traded in this session.

Solar: Total number of solar RECs traded in this session was 4,86,129 (184% decrease from the last trade). The clearing ratio was 29.06% at PXIL & 15.42% at IEX respectively. RECs traded at the floor price, i.e. INR 1000 at PXIL and IEX both respectively.

The overall trade volume of (8,19,608) decreased almost by 50% from the last trade (16,18,069).

Lowest ever tariff of Rs.1.58 discovered at RESCO model tender in Madhya Pradesh

The latest tariff discovered for rooftop solar at Power Grid Corporation in Madhya Pradesh is INR 1.58 kWh/unit. This is the lowest tariff discovered so far in the country. AMPSOLAR, a New-Delhi based company bid for the lowest tariff for putting rooftop solar plants on the 10 government buildings. The highest tariff of INR 4.3 kWh/unit was by Renew solar for a private company. The tender auctioned under the RESCO model attracted 31 international as well as domestic developers who oversubscribed the 35 MWp tender capacity by 630%. The project will get a subsidy from MNRE of 20% and 25% from the state government.

In a RESCO model, the Bidders intend to use a Premise owned/used by the Procurer and enters into the PPA with Procurer for the supply of solar power as per RFP.

List of bidders and tariff is as below:

Establishments Tariff  (KwH/unit)
Municipal buildings Rs 1.69
Medical colleges Rs 1.74
Police establishments Rs 2.33
Government engineering colleges, ITIs, and polytechnics Rs 2.35
private institutions Rs 2.28

“The solar rooftop sector has been struggling with issues like the significant upfront cost for individual consumers and lack of enabling the framework for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to develop a scalable business model. The bid results for 35 MWp Solar Rooftop tender are testimony to numerous policy, contractual and procedural innovations deployed in the RESCO programme to find solutions to these gaps,” said Manu Srivastava, principal secretary, renewable energy, in the Madhya Pradesh government.

Read the corrigendum document and detail list of bidders here.

MNRE proposes a draft schedule for solar tender activities to avoid clashes between agencies

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has approached all the central & state governments as well as public sectors implementing agencies for tendering of solar PV capacities to follow a timeline for implementing renewable energy projects. According to the letter “It has been seen that sometimes bids of two organizations clash with each other, thus distorting the market.” It is being assumed that by following a timetable for bidding, these organizations can evenly distribute their tender and auction activity throughout the year.

According to the timetable, SECI will have the months of Dec, Mar, Jun & Sept for its tender and auction activity. NTPC and other public sector units will utilize Jan, Apr, Jul, and Oct for tender & auction activity. Further, the state implementing agencies will use Feb, May, Aug, and Nov for the activities.

MNRE has requested implementing agencies to follow this timetable in light of the tender trajectory that was announced earlier. As per the trajectory, 30 GW of solar will be tendered and auctioned in the current and the next Financial years. The timeline is to be followed by the large-scale projects tenders only and not the rooftop solar tenders.

The manufacturers are in acceptance of the proposed plan and believe, that now they will be able to plan their activities in an efficient manner. However, people in the industry are skeptical if the state will follow this timetable, since MNRE is an organization providing guidelines and it is up to the state to decide whether to follow it or not.

Major wind project acquisition gets cancelled following an APERC order

A recent order of Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) was stayed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court related to the reduced tariff of electricity supplied by the wind projects that received Generation-based Incentive (GBI) from the center.

A recently proposed acquisition between Greenko and Orange went into shambles due to the significant order. The central government had devised the GBI scheme only to encourage investments in the wind sector by providing an additional incentive of 0.50 for every unit of energy actually generated by a generator over and above the tariff granted by the regulator.

The  APERC order in question was challenged by Orange renewables and  HERO group and requested suspension of the order at a primary level. Apparently, APERC does not have the jurisdiction to alter its own order.

The APERC had passed the order modifying its earlier tariff orders on the ground that it had earlier failed to give effect to its regulations that require incentives to be deducted from the tariff. “Prima facie, the 1st respondent- Commission has no jurisdiction to exercise the power of review in the manner it did,” the court said in its order.

Andhra Pradesh has approximately 2,000 MW wind capacity installed and the order had an impact of more than INR 2,000 Cr, for the wind generators in the state who had factored in the GBI while working ou their finances for the projects.

As of now, the Greenko-Orange deal has been called off to the delay of payments related to GBI. Wind generators have been denied GBI in Andhra Pradesh for over two years now and this development might bring some clarity for them.

 

 

Parliamentary panel worries about the power sector post RBI’s revised framework on NPA’s

Reserve bank of India recently issued a revised framework for the resolution of stressed/non-performing assets. A Lok-Sabha committee was called to discuss the consequences of the framework on the electricity sector. The committee was of the opinion that the electricity sector has been forced towards Non-Performing Assets post the revised framework. As per the guidelines, one of the objectives of the revised framework is to ensure prompt action to provide relief to the stress in a borrower’s account as soon as the default takes place. However, the committee was of the opinion that a solution was indeed necessary but not at the cost of affecting the electricity sector majorly. A  37th report of the standing committee on energy on the subjects of stressed/Non Performing Assets in the electricity sector was presented post extensive discussion in order to resolve the issue of NPA in the electricity sector as per the extant RBI guidelines and other legal/ financial/ statutory provisions applicable at that time.

The Committee focussed on 34 coal-based thermal power plants which were categorized as ‘stressed’ due to issues such as:

  • Non-availability of Fuel:

– Cancellation of coal block.

– Projects set up without Linkage.

  • Lack of enough PPA by states
  • The inability of the Promoter to infuse the equity and working capital
  • Contractual/Tariff related disputes
  • Issues related to Banks/Financial Institutions (FIs).
  • Delay in project implementations leading to cost overrun.
  • Aggressive bidding by developers in PPA.

As per the Revised Framework, the extant instructions on resolution of stressed assets such as Framework for Revitalizing Distressed Assets, Corporate Debt Restructuring Scheme, Flexible Structuring of Existing Long Term Project Loans, Strategic Debt Restructuring Scheme (SDR), Change in Ownership outside SDR, and Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) were withdrawn. The Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) as an institutional mechanism for resolution of stressed accounts has also been discontinued. Now, all accounts, including such accounts where any of the schemes have been invoked but not yet implemented, shall be governed by the revised framework.

Although the new guidelines have been termed as ‘harmonized’ and ‘simplified’ generic framework, yet they are far from being so. Prior to these guidelines, an asset was classified as NPA if a loan or an advance where interest or installment of principal remains overdue for a period of 90 days in respect of term loan. Similarly, stressed assets were accounts where there has been a delay in payment of interest and/or payment as against the repayment schedule on account of the financial difficulties of the borrower. Under the previous framework, failure of an asset to serve its debt obligation within the prescribed time was taken to be indicative of a developing stress of potential NPA and consequently, corrective measures of various grades i.e. rectification, restructuring, and recovery were the options keeping in view the totality of the situation.

However, the new regime has let go with all such measures and any failure beyond the duration of SMA (Special Mention Accounts) is supposed to directly and immediately invoke the provisions of a resolution plan, making the revival extremely difficult. The committee, therefore, recommended that in the interest of the economy in general and the Electricity Sector in particular, the revised guidelines should be “harmonized and simplified” in the real sense.

 

Not implementing Safegaurd Duty on solar modules and cells for time being: Ministry of Finance

A recent development in the safeguard duty event, the Orissa High Court has directed the Ministry of Finance to withdraw the duty by August 13, 2018, and issued a stay until August 20, 2018. The stay came after a petition was filed by Hero Future Energies, ACME, and Vikram Solar against the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR).

Vikram Solar’s petition stated the following:

  • Suitable exemption/clarification for SEZs (Special Economic Zones) from duties of safeguard, which will put SEZs at par with manufacturing units located in domestic tariff area (DTA).
  • Considering SEZ units as a part the of domestic industry for the purpose of safeguard investigation.
  • EPC contracts which are already awarded should be kept out of the ambit of safeguard duty

The safeguard duty is currently applicable to companies in SEZ affecting a majority of the domestic solar manufacturing capacity.

Ministry of Finance had announced to levy 25% safeguard duty based on the final recommendation proposed by the DGTR. The duty came into effect from July 30, 2018. The ministry levied the duty despite Orissa High Court’s order to put a stay on the safeguard duty on solar modules and cells. ACME Solar had filed a petition post the DGTR recommendations and received the stay order from the court. The Orissa court had then directed the government not to issue any notification regarding the safeguard duty until August 20, 2018. But after the sudden imposition of the duty, the three companies filed a new petitions in the Orissa HIgh Court.

Hence, considering the recent stay order put in force by the Orissa on the safeguard duty notification, the Ministry of Finance announced that the government will, for the time being, not imply the payment of safeguard duty on solar imports.

The current scenario draws doubts on the future of safeguard duty and whether the Indian solar sector embraces it going ahead.

MERC announces generic tariff for various RE sources

Recently the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) announced an order for generic tariff determination of various renewable resources including Solar and Wind. Even after the generic tariff is realized, DISCOMs opt for competitive bidding for tariffs due to the low rates. The details regarding the tariffs for various RE sources is a follows:

Renewable energy sources

Tariff without AD Tariff with AD
Non-Fossil Fuel-Based Cogeneration Projects INR 4.99 _
Biomass projects INR 7.30 INR 7.44
SHP (5 MW-25 MW) INR 3.66 INR 3.92
SHP (1 MW-5 MW) INR 4.36 INR 4.64
SHP (500 kW-1 MW) INR 4.86 INR 5.14
SHP 500 kW and less INR 5.36 INR 5.64
Wind Energy projects INR 2.87
Utility-Scale Solar PV Projects INR 2.72

Rooftop Solar PV projects INR 3.22

The above mentioned solar rooftop tariff will be applicable from August 1 2018 to March 31 2019 and for wind projects between August 1 2018 – March 31 2019 for  a period of 13 years from the date of commissioning. However, in a recent project auction base tariff of INR 2.52/kWh was discovered (INR 0.35/kWh less than the new generic tariff).

In case of SHP, the above-mentioned tariffs will be applicable between August 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019, for 35 years (with capacity up to 5 KW) and 13 years for SHP with a capacity greater than 5 MW and up to 25 MW.

Recently Maharashtra also announced its final regulations for the forecasting, scheduling and deviation management regulations in July 2018.

SECI favours lowest bid in recent solar auctions, cancels rest

The nodal agency for National Solar Mission, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has canceled mostly all but the lowest bid project in its mega solar auctions held in July. The decision to cancel 2400 MW solar capacity out of 3000 MW came to light at a meeting of developers with government officials and SECI on August 1st, 2018. Out of all the tenders, only ACME solar won 600 MW for quoting INR 2.44/unit. The government felt all the other bids were too expensive and not competitive enough.

Among the canceled projects were 1100 MW by SB energy (a Joint Venture between Japan’s Softbank, Taiwan’s Foxconn & Bharti Airtel), 500 MW by Renew Power, both of which quoted INR 2.71/unit and lastly 300 MW each by Mahindra solar and Mahoba solar (Adani group) who quoted INR 2.64/unit. The developers felt that if they quoted below INR 2.71/unit, it would be not feasible for them to sustain.

Recently an auction in Uttar Pradesh was also canceled for 1,000 MW without stating any reasons.

Post the Safeguard duty implementations, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has also requested the Finance Ministry to exempt the ongoing solar power projects from the 25% safeguard duty imposed on imported solar equipment. The developers showed their concern over the increase in capital of the projects. While the duty seeks to protect the domestic solar manufacturing industry, project developers have mentioned that the duty would increase solar power tariffs.

Looking at the trend of the competitive tariff over the past years, tariff prices have dropped drastically, and the developers have gone weary of the ongoing trend and believe that they won’t be able to sustain the long-term agreement. However, the government is of the opinion that the tariff is too high and not competitive enough yet.

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