TNERC announces the Pooled Cost of Power Purchase for FY 2018-19

TNERC recently announced an order for the pooled cost of power purchase payable by Tangedco for FY 18-19 under TNERC (Renewable Energy Purchase Obligation) Regulations, 2010). The order has mentioned the criteria, mandatory for a renewable energy generating company for  obtaining accreditation from the state agency which are:

“(a) It does not have any power purchase agreement for the capacity related to such generation to sell electricity at a preferential tariff determined by the Commission; and

(b) It sells the electricity generated either (i) to the distribution licensee in the State of Tamil Nadu at a price not exceeding the pooled cost of power purchase, or (ii) to any other licensee or to an open access consumer at a mutually agreed price, or through power exchange at a market-determined price.”

With these specifications, the commission declared the Pooled Cost of Power Purchase payable by the TANGEDCO for the year 2018-19 as Rs.3.97 per unit subject to the maximum of 75% of the preferential tariff fixed by the Commission to that category / subcategory of NCES generators i.e. Rs.3.97 per unit or 75% of the preferential tariff fixed by the Commission to that category / subcategory of NCES generators, whichever is less. The Order came into effect from 1st April 2018.

The trend of the pooled cost of power purchase in Tamil Nadu in the past years is as given below.

 

The government might ask RBI to classify renewable energy projects under priority sector lending

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is expected to write to RBI seeking to bring renewable energy projects under the priority sector lending. The development comes to light post there is stress seen in the conventional power sector which is negatively affecting the renewable energy sector and questions are raised by renewable energy project developers over lack of funds by banks.

At recent stakeholders meet, the Power Minister R.K. Singh talked about the matter.

“We are committed to remove the obstacles in the financing of renewable energy projects. We have taken inputs from different stakeholders. One suggestion was that priority lending should be done for renewable energy projects and without any limit.”

Currently, the rooftop solar projects are under the priority sector lending category, but the funding quantum is only 15 crores.

In the current scenario, the Non-performing assets (NPAs) in the thermal power sector are impacting investments in the renewable energy projects, disrupting the lending situation for the power sector completely including renewable projects.

Along with this, RE developers also face financial drawback with added cost due to safeguard duty implementation in the country and conflicting to that competitive tariffs with each auction announced. Developers at the meeting also raised issues regarding payment delays by distribution companies and their demand for 2-3% rebates on delayed payments.

HPPC asks SECI to allot solar capacity at fixed rate to fulfill its RPO target

HPPC petitioned to seek in-principle approval of the commission to purchase 250 MW of solar power from SECI under 2000 MW ISTS scheme. HPPC wished to purchase 250 MW of power from SECI at INR 2.93/kWh (excluding trading margin)  fixed rate for 25 years in order to meet the state’s solar RPO targets. The commission approved the petition and asked HPPC to deposit a filing fee of INR 2 Lakh. SECI has agreed to allot 100 MW solar project capacity to HPPC at 2.54/kWh (excluding the trading margin of INR 0.07 kWh) against the requisite of 250 MW.

The solar Power Purchase Obligation target till FY 2022 is as below:

Financial Year

Solar RPO (as a percentage of total consumption)
2013-14 0.10
2014-15 0.25
20 15-16 0.75
2016-17 1.00
20 17-18 1.25
20 18-19 1.50
20 19-20 2.00
2020-21 2.50
2021-22 3.00

The existing solar power capacity available with Haryana Discoms is 125.8 MW. As per the current contracted capacity, the potential energy consumption for FY 2018-19 is supposed to be 41906 MUs and similarly, the availability of solar power projects in the coming years along with the shortfall situation is as below:

Read the order here.

Andhra Pradesh Government asks the state discoms to accept full power from the wind developers

Andhra Pradesh Government has asked the state DISCOMs to take all the power the wind developers produce and further pay for it, irrespective of the Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF) of the developer’s project. In one of the state’s order regarding the feed-in-tariff for wind energy, the CUF was discovered at 23.5% for an average wind project. Post this, the state DISCOMs interpreted it as a directive to accept only the quantity of power a wind plant would generate it is was 23.5% and reject any additional power supplied. If the plant, produced more power by adopting efficiencies that led to a higher CUF, the DISCOMs would reject it.

After this development, the MNRE Secretary had written to the Principal Secretary in Andhra Pradesh’s Energy Ministry in December 2017 that “the generic tariff determined by the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) may have taken 23.5% CUF as average CUF in the state for wind power projects and therefore, it is likely that there may be certain sites where CUF is more than the average CUF”. Recently Mr.Jain (MNRE) wrote to the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC), as well as all state discoms, that “in the view of Secretary, MNRE’s letter, discoms have to treat wind power as must-run stations and take the entire power from them without curtailment.”

Due to the previous announcement from the APERC, the developers had assumed that about 2,000 MW of projects which had been turned down by the state’s discoms would have turned into Non-Performing Assets.

Despite the letter, some people in the industry feel that the bigger problem is of ‘backdown’ – discoms’ refusal to take wind power at times citing non-availability of grid capacity which has gone unaddressed and the MNREs letter won’t be of much help to the developers.

Industry reacts to the 25% duty as the Supreme Court allows to impose the safeguard duty on imports.

It has been a roller-coaster ride for the Indian Solar Industry and developers when it comes to the safeguard duty implementation. Recently the Supreme Court of India in the matter of the safeguard duty to be levied on imported solar cells has allowed the Central Government to levy 25% safeguard duty on imported solar cells and follow the previously announced order accordingly. This announcement nullifies the earlier stay from the Orissa High Court on the duty.

For the import-dependent solar power developers, the Supreme Court order which will be effective retrospectively from July 30th, 2018 might cost approximately an extra INR 500 crore ($ 72 Million) for some 1,000 MW of solar modules imported between July 30 & now. The financial burden will slow down the aggregate 16,000 MW projects in the pipeline. However, the announcement is being appreciated by the domestic manufacturers who believe that this step will help the industry which is currently facing competition with Chinese & Malaysian modules which are 8-10% cheaper.

However, not all domestic manufacturers stand to gain from the order. It will hurt the local manufacturers based in special economic zones (SEZs), which currently accommodate 40% of 10 GW of solar module manufacturing units and 60% of the 3 GW cell production base.

“The aggressive bid tariffs from July 30 up to now, are a clear indication that the industry has already factored in the 25% safeguard duty. The new projects will not be gravely impacted; the big worry lies with the aggregate 16 GW solar projects in the pipeline”, Mr. Pranav Mehta, Founder Chairman, National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) and Chairman-elect Global Solar Council (GSC).

Post the order from the Supreme Court, safeguard duty on the above-mentioned goods for a period of two years.

25% safeguard duty 30th July 2018 to 29th July 2019 (both days inclusive)
20% safeguard duty 30th July 2019 to 29th January 2020 (both days inclusive)
15% safeguard duty 30th January 2020 to 29th July 2020 (both days inclusive)

The notification which came into effect post a complaint from Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA) in Dec. 2017 after self-investigation. The investigation concluded that locally manufactured cells and panels, which constituted only 10% of the Indian solar projects in 2014-2015 and had reduced more in the subsequent years. 

Read the document here.

India to introduce a cap on solar tariff and reduces tender size for manufacturing unit

In a major development, the MNRE has directed the Solar Energy Corporation of India(SECI) to fix the upper permissible solar tariff at INR 2.50/kWh and INR 2.68/kWh for developers using domestic cells & modules (without safeguard duties) and imported products (with safeguard duties), respectively. SECI has reduced its solar manufacturing tender size from 5 GW to 3 GW and curtailed minimum bid capacity from 1 GW to 600 MW. However, the size of the PPA remains the same at 10 GW. This comes to post an announcement by the Power  Minister – that all the future renewable energy projects bid would have to cover at least a 50% of a project’s components with domestic manufacturing. Regarding the PPA, it must be executed within a maximum time frame of 90 days from the date of award and a minimum of 40% of commissioned within 21 months from the date of PPA signing. The remaining 60% of the capacity will have to be commissioned within 36 months from the date of the bid award letter. SECI has also revised the time allowed to set up manufacturing capacity to two years from the earlier three-year time period.

  • For silicon-based facilities, the module manufacturing unit has to be set up in India whereas polysilicon can be imported.
  • For non-silicon-based technologies, the primary functional raw material can be imported.

To support this development SECI has announced a 5 MW solar manufacturing tender linked to a 10 GW PPA, also in June. It was the first solar tender where developers were required to locally produce equipment in order to win projects.

Solar installations in India drop down in the second quarter : Report

According to a report, solar installations have gone down by 52% in the second quarter of 2018, primarily due to the uncertainties related to trade duty & module price fluctuations. The Q2 installations were at the lowest since Q1 2017 with 1599 MW, compared to 3,344 MW in 2018. The plant installations were also down by approximately 21% year-on-year compared to 2.025 MW installed in Q2, 2017.

The downfall in the installations was an expected one, pertaining to PPA negotiations post the all-time low bids which led to a slowdown in the tender auctions in 2017 resulting in weaker project pipeline in 2018.

The large-scale installations totaled at 1,184 MW compared to 2954 MW in Q1, 2018. In case of rooftop installations, 415 MW was installed (6% higher than 390 MW in the previous year.)

Cumulative solar installed capacity summed to be at 24.6 MW at the end of the second quarter of 2018 with large-scale projects accounting for 90% & rooftop solar making up the remaining 10%.

It is expected that the installations will be close to 8.3 GW in 2018 if the schedule remains on time.

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