Is procuring panels at less than good quality import cost from Adani, Tata, BHEL & CEL.
Energy Efficiency Services (EESL), the joint venture under the power ministry to unlock and expand the market in this regard, has after programmes in LED and e-vehicles, branched out to the clean energy sector.
It has procured indigenously made solar power panels at 30 cents/kwh capacity (Rs 20.63/kwh), cheaper than the current rate of good quality Chinese panels. It has procured 300 Mw of disaggregated solar power modules for use in multiple applications.
It is procuring the panels from Adani Green Energy at the said bid, and from Bharat Heavy Electricals, Tata Power Solar and Central Electronics which agreed to meet the price.
The company (it is a joint venture of a number of state-owned companies in the energy sector) said two programmes where these panels would be used have been standardised. One is for solar rooftops; it has agreed with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC)
to set up solar rooftops in the latter’s area for up to 20 Mw. The other is with Maharashtra State Electricity Development Corporation (MSEDCL), for powering rural sub-stations for agricultural purposes.
EESL said due to the lower cost of the panels, the effective power rate for MSEDCL was Rs 3 a unit and Rs 4.87 for NDMC.
“Due to this large procurement, where we didn’t ask the manufacturer to give us tariffs (rates) but to give us modules at outright purchase, we have got a levellised tariff for rooftop solar at Rs 4.87/unit, with no subsidy. We have structured it such that the first-year tariff would be Rs 4.87 and then escalate by three per cent (annually) over 25 years. We will sign a PPA (power purchase agreement) soon with 15-20 buildings in the NDMC area,” Saurabh Kumar, managing director of EESL, told Business Standard.
“In Maharashtra, there are lot of rural sub-stations that feed agricultural pumps. Most of them have surplus land, which they have given us to set up mini-solar plants ranging from 0.5 Mw to 2 Mw, which will feed directly into the transformer that is feeding the pumps. This is Rs 3 per unit – levellised for 25 years, with no subsidy,” Kumar said.
EESL would be signing the PPA with MSEDCL next month. Kumar says grid-connected power is Rs 6 a unit for Maharashtra, borne by the state as this electricity is free for agricultural usage. “Our effort has brought down the cost to half for them,” he said.
Kumar said they were able to procure panels at 30 cents/kwh as EESL is trusted for payment. “We are procuring for the state agency. We have procured solar panels and also the system integrator. Maharashtra has 4,000 rural sub-stations and this is for 400, as of now. All the companies are domestic, thereby giving a major push to Make in India,” he said.
Business Standard recently reported that EESL had prepared a Rs 30,000-crore plan for shifting gears to solar energy, especially in agriculture, ‘green’ buildings, smart meters, energy-efficient water and sewage pumps.