The Kerala state electricity regulatory commission (KSERC) has rejected an application submitted by Kerala irrigation infrastructure development corporation (KIIDC) to determine tariff for the proposed floating solar PV project planned at Chulliyar dam in Palakkad.
The commission disposed of the application by citing several discrepancies and unrealistic claims presented by KIIDC before the commission regarding the cost involved in the setting up of the land-neutral (floating) solar power project and its operations. In its petition, KIIDC appealed the commission to determine the project specific preferential tariff for the land-neutral solar project, so that the power from one MW solar project at Chulliyar can be sold to KSEB at the rate fixed by the commission.
The land-neutral solar power plant would be a grid interactive system capable of producing an average annual output of about 1.65 million units of electricity at the project location. The project proposed to be completed in two phases, according to KIIDC, would incur capital expenditure of Rs 10.73cr. The KIIDC prayed to the commission to approve a proposed tariff to the tune of Rs 8.86 per unit.
Kerala State Electricity Board Ltd, though appreciated the KIIDC plans to implement floating solar PV project across various irrigation reservoirs in the state, submitted before the commission that the cost of the project and the tariff claimed by the petitioner were exorbitantly high.
As per the information available, the rate quoted recently by the developers for supplying solar energy through competitive bidding route is about Rs 4.50 per unit only, the board said.
The commission in its order said KIIDC may take necessary steps to get central financial assistance (CFA) by way of capital subsidy or soft loans with low interest rates and long repayment period or other incentives from MNRE, Government of India, so that, the tariff can be reduced and brought down to competitive levels. It also observed that Government of India is providing financial assistance to floating type solar projects at canal tops and canal banks through the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).
“The KIIDC has to take all necessary efforts to avail such benefits so that the tariff gets reduced to affordable level. With all these details KIIDC can again approach the commission for determining the project specific tariff for the project,” the commission said while disposing of the petition.