Discom to buy another 1,400MW solar power
NAGPUR: Despite receiving poor response to the tender for purchase of 1,000MW through distributed generation, MSEDCL has floated another tender for purchase of 1,400MW. The discom had received bids for only 287MW against 1,000MW with the highest tariff being Rs3.15 a unit. The company had got excellent response to tenders for purchase of 1,000MW from big solar plants in May.
MSEDCL managing director Sanjeev Kumar said that the remaining 713MW have been included in the 1,400MW. “We have made some changes in the model and are hoping to get good response,” he told TOI.
Under the distributed generation policy, the private parties are supposed to set up small solar plants with capacity between 2MW and 10MW in different areas. MSEDCL has selected 30 districts where these plants would be set up. The maximum capacity in a district would not exceed 50MW. There are some districts where maximum capacity is only 25MW.
The plants were to be connected to agricultural feeders at 11 KV or 22 KV level without any expenditure on transmission infrastructure. The tenders were floated under Mukhyamantri Saur Krishi Vahini Yojana.
In May, MSEDCL had tied up for cheap solar power. The discom had floated tenders for purchasing 1,020MW solar power from private producers. Two companies JLTM Energy and Mahoba Solar agreed to supply 20MW and 200MW, respectively, for Rs2.71 per unit. Four companies Renew Solar Power (250MW), Acme Solar Holdings (250MW), Tata Power Renewable Energy (150MW) and Ajure Power India (150MW) quoted Rs2.72 per unit. The cheapest solar power now available in the market is Rs2.44 per unit.
The discom’s average power purchase cost approved by Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) for 2017-18 is Rs4.01 per unit.
About 10-12 years ago, cost of solar power was as high as Rs18 per unit and MSEDCL was reluctant to buy it. Now, it is cheaper than coal-fired thermal power.
The rates received by MSEDCL were the lowest among state and private discoms. Such cheap power would definitely bring down power tariff.