As much as 728 MW of solar energy has been synchronised with the grid in Telangana state, surpassing 5 per cent target given by the Centre. This is more than 10 per cent of the 7,000 MW peak demand recorded in the state this fiscal so far.Telangana discoms expect another 1,500 MW power to be added on by March next. The state purchases solar power at Rs 5.17 per unit on an average. Power from thermal plants costs about Rs 4.70 per unit.
TS southern discom chairman Dr G. Raghuma Reddy said solar power used to cost Rs 18 per unit six years back, and is expected to come further down as cost-effective solar panels become available, and because of competitive bidding.”TS Discoms have signed PPAs with private producers for setting up 3,814 MW solar plants of which 728 MW has been sycnhronised. The target is 5,000 MW of solar power in two years,” he said.
Solar energy is not the base load. It is available only when the sun shines. Due to the rain and cloudy weather over the past few days, solar energy generation fell to 15 MW on Saturday.“Neither solar, wind nor hydel power are base loads as their generation can go down any time. Keeping this in view, we purchase adequate thermal power to cover the loss of renewable energy generation. When solar, wind and hydel generations peak, the generation at TSgenco thermal plants is backed down,” said TSGenco chairman and managing director D. Prabhakar Rao.
It is mandatory for every state to generate 5 per cent of its needs from clean energy to avail electricity from Central generating stations and other benefits from the Centre.