As per reports, Tamil Nadu’s ambitious solar policy, once assumed to be a game-changer for fostering solar power in the state, has been set aside by the Appellate Tribunal of Electricity (ApTel). A capacity addition of 3000 MW was envisaged under the solar policy till 2015.
“Solar Purchase Obligation (SPO)”; policy’s main driver of demand, has been confronted with a lot of criticism. Various consumer associations had approached relevant forums against such a binding mandate which required solar energy consumption to be 6% (from Jan 2014) out of total energy consumption. According to an article in The Hindu (dated July 7th 2013), Tamil Nadu Electricity Consumers Association (TECA) went to ApTel in June 2013, saying that consumers will not have the required solar energy capacity. According to submissions in the present order by the appellants, TN requires an installed solar capacity 720 MW in the year 2013 and 1500 MW in 2014, to make solar power available for compliance with SPO and RPO targets.
TANGEDCO as a respondent in the order has said that solar RPO of 0.05 % ceased from being into effect from the time SPO was introduced by the state commission.
TANGEDCO, last year, had floated tenders which has currently around 700 MW of solar projects awaiting execution of power purchase agreements. The solar power price discovered through, competitive bidding mechanism,was Rs. 6.48 per unit. Following this recent ApTel order, TANGEDCO is in a fix whether to scrap solar power purchase obligation or to buy power from solar projects and subsequently move TNERC to raise tariffs, to accommodate additional cost of buying costlier solar power.
A copy of this order can be found here.
Media Articles are available in the following links-
The Hindu Businessline
The Hindu – (dated 6th Nov 2012)
Our relevant blogpost can be read here.
Link to Tamil Nadu’s Solar Policy 2012