Even as TANGEDCO rolled out another tender to procure 500 MW of solar power to meet its solar power obligations, experts are worried that ‘curtailment’ might come back to haunt the sector. Curtailment refers to energy produced that is not taken up by the grid.
They also cite discoms’ reluctance to buy high-cost solar power and TANGEDCO’s payment record as other key challenges facing the solar power developers in the State.
Tamil Nadu leads all other States in solar power generation with 1,577 MW in operation and nearly 485 MW of solar under various stages of development, according to Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm. “The distribution companies (discoms) can be reluctant to purchase solar power due to higher cost (vs conventional energy). Developers will also be concerned over TANGEDCO’s history of payment delays,” Mercom said.
TANGEDCO’s tender for 500 MW of solar power rolled out on Friday closes on February 10. The move follows the tepid response to its earlier tender for setting up solar power plants in the State for a combined capacity of 122 MW. The tender drew 20 bidders.
The benchmark rate for the tender was Rs. 5.10 per unit. From that tender, TANGEDCO finalised only 20 MW at the rate of Rs. 4.50 per unit. The new tender will have the benchmark rate of Rs. 4.50 per unit.