INR 2.67/unit tariff discovered for hybrid wind-solar 1.2 GW tender

The maiden tender for ISTS-connected hybrid wind-solar projects discovered an L1 tariff of INR 2.67/unit recently. The tender postponed six times in the past, due to lack of interest and the capacity was also reduced to 1.2 GW from 1.5 GW previously. The recent tender attracted two bidders who successfully bid for the hybrid projects:

These were the only two firms to participate in the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) tender for 1,200 MW of wind-solar hybrid units. The two companies had offered 1,050 MW capacity in total. Due to several issues surfacing in the first tender of its kind, the last date for bid submission had been postponed six times.

The tender saw such a low response due to the low ceiling tariff for the tender. Initially, the ceiling tariff was fixed at INR 2.90/unit but was later reduced to INR 2.60/unit post directions from Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Currently, the market derived tariff for solar found in India is `2.42/unit and for wind energy, the lowest price discovered is Rs 2.43/unit.

The hybrid policy was launched in May,  with an objective to provide a framework for promoting large grid-connected wind and solar PV hybrid system for efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land. Along with this, it aims to help reduce the inconsistency in the renewable power generation and in turn achieve better grid stability.

MSEDCL announces RfS for 1000 MW solar projects at INR 2.80/unit ceiling tariff

MSEDCL has announced a Request for Selection (RfS) document for the purchase of 1000 MW power for a long-term basis through a competitive bidding process. The summary of the document is as follows:

  • The project is introduced in order to meet the future power requirements and fulfill the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) of MSEDCL. The successful bidders will be eligible to fiscal incentives like Accelerated Depreciation, concessional customs & excise duties.
  • In case of import of energy in case if intra-state projects the HT industry tariff will be applicable while selling the power to MSEDCL as per the MERC regulations and in case of inter-state projects, all the transmission charges and losses up to delivery point shall be to the account of the successful bidder.

Maharashtra has recently been very active in introducing new schemes for solar PV plants. The state recently tendered 1GW capacity of solar projects to be developed under the Mukhyamantri Saur Krushi Vahini Yojana.

 

MNRE proposes amendments in the biomass co-generation policy

MNRE has been working towards supporting biomass-based cogeneration projects in the country and had introduced a scheme for the same in May 2018. The scheme provides CFA of INR 25 Lakhs/MW for bagasse cogeneration projects and INR 50 Lakh/MW for non-bagasse cogeneration projects.

Recently MNRE has made two amendments in clause 5 & 6 of the scheme to provide more financial support to the projects. The changes are as follows:

Apart from this, The Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) has rejected two petitions filed by owners of bagasse-based cogeneration projects against the imposition of cross-subsidy surcharge for self-consumption of power in Madhya Pradesh.

The petitioners Shri Durga Khandsari Sugar Mills and Narmada Sugar Private Limited had approached MPERC to not impose cross-subsidy on self-consumption of the electricity from its own bagasse-based cogenerating stations. However, both the plaintiffs were selling the majority of its generated electricty via open access and less than 51% was being self-consumed. Hence, the commission was of the opinion that whole power supplied by the cogeneration plants of the petitioners will be treated as if the power is supplied by a generating company.

MNRE has also invited an Expression of Interest (EOI) for tapping the potential of biomass and bagasse co-generation in the country as of October 2018, to promote the source of energy.

Relief for Adani, TATA & Essar as Gujarat Govt. approves power tariff hike

After a long-pending petition by Adani & Others over power tariff hike, the Gujarat government has given a decision. These power projects will be allowed the power tariff hike by amending their PPAs with Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL). The ordeal which was ongoing since 2010 has now come to a deciding point and the troubled power projects are given relief.

However, the increase in the tariff will be directly passed on to the consumers at an approximate rate of INR 40 paisa/unit.

TATA & Adani had earlier approached CERC seeking higher tariff on the grounds of their cost going up due to the “Change in Law” in Indonesia in 2010, following a regulation passed by South-East Asia Nation.

However, in 2013 CERC rejected their plea of force majeure and “change in law”, but constituted a committee to suggest payment of compensatory tariff to the power company.

The apex court’s directive was followed by recommendations of a committee constituted by the Gujarat government to look into the possibility of “contribution by each stakeholder, including banks, project developers and procurers, by way of concessions for mitigating hardship”.

TSERC announces APPC cost for FY 2018-2019

Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) announces its average pooled purchase cost for the year FY 2018-19. The APPC cost of INR 4.097/kWh for FY 17-18 will be continued for this financial year as well. In an order followed by a petition by TSSPDCL and TSNPDCL which had requested the commission to consider the pooled cost of power purchase in FY 2017 – 2018 for FY 2018 – 2019 as per the regulations stated in Electricity Act 2003. The average power purchase pooled cost of INR 4.06/kWh was discovered by both the DISCOMs.

The petitioners were of the opinion that post to the formation of Telangana in 2014 all regulations, decisions, directions or orders issued by the erstwhile APERC were adopted until any of the regulation were altered, repealed or amended under the jurisdiction of the State of Telangana. This also included renewable power purchase obligations (RPPO), for which the commission issued regulations fixing the RPPO to be met by the obligated entities from FY 2018-19 to FY 2021-22.  

To which the commission replied that “Pooled cost of power purchase’ means the weighted average pooled price at which the distribution licensee has purchased electricity in the previous year from all the long-term energy suppliers excluding the purchases based on liquid fuel. Provided that the purchases from traders, short-term purchases and purchases from renewable sources shall not be taken into account while determining pooled cost of power purchase.”

The discoms further stated that policies like the state solar power policy 2015 & industrial policy allow a solar net metering & other incentives to be applicable for 25 years and a customer availing for this mechanism will be paid back at the APPC cost decided by the commission on a yearly basis.

Apart from Telangana, Southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have also recently announced their APPC cost for the FY 2018-2019.

REC trade result – November 2018

This month trading session saw a good price discovery for both solar & non-solar RECs. The market saw a significant price hike in solar as compared to last month. The demand for both solar & non-solar remained consistent while the supply remained limited. As we approach the year-end, the obligated entities are in the process to comply with their obligations and hence the higher demand in order to not face any penalties for non-compliance. However, the highlight of this month’s trade was that solar crossed the floor price of INR 1,000.

Non-Solar: This session the RECs were traded at the price of INR 1260 at PXIL (26.0% above the floor price) and INR 1252 at IEX (25.2% above the floor price). A total of 4,46,861 RECs were traded in this session leaving an inventory of 20,43,871 Non-Solar RECs. (However, a significant portion of these do not participate in trading as they would either be owned by Discom’s or are for self-retention).

Solar: Total number of solar RECs traded in this session was 58,877 (368% decrease from the last months’ trade). The clearing ratio was 100% at PXIL & 100% at IEX respectively (w.r.t floor price). RECs traded at the floor price, i.e. INR 1051 at PXIL and at Rs 1101 at IEX.

The overall trade volume (5,05,738 RECs) decreased by almost 39.05% from the last months’ trade volume (7,03,256  RECs).

EIB, SBI & YES bank come together for financing RE projects in India

The Europen Investment Bank has confirmed to work along with State Bank of India and Yes Bank on increasing its support in terms of investment to RE projects in India. The EIB has decided to provide investment in the Onshore lending program with SBI. The finance organization has also approved a new credit line with Yes Bank in order to accelerate private investment in the RE sector.

At a recent conference held in New Delhi, the Vice President of EIB confirmed the news of financing the clean energy projects. “Scaling up renewable energy investment is crucial for economic growth, improving access to energy and addressing climate change and support for renewable is a key priority for the European Investment Bank, the EU Bank, here in India. The EIB is pleased to host our first offshore wind investment conference in New Delhi and bring together technical and financial expertise from across India and the European Union’s unique global experience in the sector. We look forward to broadening cooperation with Indian partners to support new renewable energy projects in the months ahead and enabling offshore wind to contribute to clean power generation in the country.” said Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank responsible for Energy and South Asia.

“The European Union and India share a common goal of tackling climate change. India has huge renewable energy resources and harnessing India’s abundant natural resources is crucial for sustainable development. Supporting energy investment is a key focus of the European Union’s India strategy announced this week and my colleagues are working closely with Indian partners to further develop India’s offshore wind sector.  Today’s conference demonstrates the European Union’s firm commitment to support expansion of clean energy in India and as the Bank of the European Union, the European Investment Bank, has a unique technical and financial experience that is already backing transformational renewable energy projects across the country.” said H.E. Tomasz Kozlowski, European Union Ambassador to India.

Several Government officials, policy experts, business leaders and financial professionals associated with the sector attended the conference. EIB has a decent experience in supporting the expansion of offshore wind over the last 15 years and the conference enabled experience from successful offshore wind investment to benefit India. The agreement signed between EIB and SBI includes promoters of onshore wind projects being able to benefit from long-term low-cost financing under a dedicated EUR 600 million renewable energy financing programme already providing support to large-scale solar investment across India.

Ever since the support for climate-related investment became a formal priority in 2010, the EIB has invested over EUR 130 billion globally, supporting more than EUR 600 billion in climate action investment.

UPERC announces draft rooftop photo voltaic solar regulations 2019

Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has recently announced the draft regulation for Rooftop Solar Photo Voltaic 2019. The draft regulations once notified by the Gazette will supersede “UPERC (Rooftop Solar PV Grid Interactive Systems Gross / Net Metering) Regulations, 2015.” The key highlights from the regulations are as below:

  • The maximum peak capacity of the rooftop solar system can’t exceed 100% of the sanctioned load/connected load/ contract load of the consumer.
  • The capacity of the grid-connected rooftop solar PV shall not be less than 1kWp and not more than 2MWp.
  • Eligible consumers can install the system under either gross-metering or net-metering arrangement.
  • For third-party owners entering into a commercial agreement for the rooftop in the premises of the consumers will have to go via a gross-metering method with the DISCOM.
  • The third-party owners entering into commercial or lease agreement for the rooftop in the premises of a group of consumers will have to take the net-metering arrangement with the DISCOM.
  • Any eligible consumer or third-party owner availing gross-metering arrangement will not be allowed to apply for net-metering within the same premise.
  • In order to provide flexibility to rooftop solar power consumer, a provision of mutual sale & purchase of electricity through a peer-to-peer transaction with proper accounting & billing mechanism using blockchain technology to be introduced.
  • Any consumer claiming Accelerated Depreciation benefits on the rooftop solar projects will only be eligible to avail net-metering arrangement.

Apart from the above points, the regulation talks about energy accounting & settlement, meter arrangement, application procedure, and registration processes. The regulation also has attached to it various formats of application forms for the consumers.

 

MNRE proposes draft certification scheme for Indian wind turbines

Recently the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy in consultation with National Institute of Wind Energy Chennai prepared a draft certification scheme incorporating various guidelines under “Indian Wind Turbine Certification Scheme (IWTCS).” The IWTCS is a consolidation of relevant National & International guidelines. The document also contains various best practices from other countries to ensure the quality of the wind energy projects. The scheme is envisaged to assist & facilitate OEMs, End-users, Utilities, SNAs, developers, IPPs, owners, investors, certification bodies and testing laboratories. The document is open for comments from stakeholders till 5th December 2018.

Wind sector in India is growing at a rapid pace with increased utilization of wind energy for the power development, The modern wind turbines have higher hub heights, larger rotor diameter, higher capacity, and improved CUF along with technological improvements. The IWTCS is a consolidation of relevant National and International Standards (IS/IEC/IEEE), Technical Regulations and requirements issued by Central Electricity Authority (CEA), guidelines issued by MNRE and other international guidelines. The Scheme enlists the guidelines for the benefit of all the stakeholders from concept to lifetime of a wind turbine, including Indian Type Approved Model (ITAM), Indian Type Certification Scheme (ITCS), Wind Farm Project Certification Scheme (WFPCS) and Wind Turbine Safety & Performance Certification Scheme (WTSPCS).

The IWTCS defines certification system guidelines for wind turbines that comprise of Prototype Certification and Type Certification; Project Certification, Failure reporting of installed wind turbines, Safety and Performance assessment and De-commissioning & Safe Disposal of the wind turbine/wind turbine projects installed onshore and offshore. It specifies guidelines for carrying out conformity evaluation of wind turbines and wind farms, with respect to specific standards and other technical requirements, relating to safety, reliability, performance, testing, and interaction with electrical power networks.

The new guidelines are expected to bring better evaluation standards for wind turbines & wind farms in the country in terms of technical requirements, relating to safety, reliability, performance, testing, certification, and interaction with electrical power networks

CERC extends expiry date for RECs due to expire

The CERC had issued an order extending the validity of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) which were to expire between 15th May 2018 – 30th October 2018, up to 30th October 2018. There has now been an extension in the expiry of these RECs till 30th March 2019. A summary of the RECs likely to expire between 31st October 2018 to 31st October 2019.

Since the past year, the shelf life of the RECs has surpassed its expiry life of one year due to high supply but limited demand. Only post-November 2017 there has been a generous market realization of RECs (both solar and non-solar). Des[ite of this and the lack of enforcement there was a petition filed to extend the expiry of the RECs.

From the above inventory, it is evident that 1,83,999 RECs which have been issued prior to 01.04.2017 are due to expire within the next six months. This includes 38,651 Solar RECs and 1,45,348 Non Solar RECs. Hence the Commission is of the view that there is a need to extend the validity of RECs which are due to expire up to 31.03.2019.

The Commission in exercise of Power under Regulation 15 of REC Regulations has extended the validity of RECs which are due to expire between 31st October 2018 and 31st March 2019 up to 30th April 2019. Accordingly, RECs which are due to expire between 31st October 2018 and 31st March 2019 will remain valid up to 30th April 2019.

 

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