Nagpur: Continuing with his green energy drive, power minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has directed MSEDCL to set up more solar plants with total capacity of 3,200MW.
The discom has already floated tenders for setting up solar plants having capacity of 2,650MW. In addition, it has signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 1,000MW solar power. Another 300MW to be produced through distributed generation has been tied up.
The discom is currently buying about 1,000MW solar. Within a couple of years, MSEDCL’s solar purchase from private parties will reach over 7,000MW. In addition, Mahagenco is selling solar power to it.
In a meeting held in Mumbai, the minister asked chief engineers of all sixteen zones to set up small solar plants having total capacity of 200MW. “These plants should come up on spare MSEDCL land. They will feed solar feeders under Mukhyamantri Saur Krishi Vahini Yojana as well as cater to general consumers,” said Vishwas Pathak, director of MSEB Holding Company.
Pathak further said that only land having evacuation facility would be chosen. “We will provide land and infrastructure while the private player will set up the plant and sell power to us,” he added.
The discom has floated a tender for buying 1,400MW under Mukhyamantri Saur Krishi Vahini Yojana. The private player has to set up small solar plants in 30 MSEDCL circles for supplying agricultural feeders. Tender has been floated for generating another 250MW with private participation.
MSEDCL has floated an expression of interest (EoI) for setting up a 1,000MW floating solar plant in Ujni dam of Solapur district. Twelve top companies had participated in the pre-bid meeting.
In May 2018, the discom had signed PPAs for buying 1,000MW from private players for about Rs2.70 per unit. This was the cheapest solar power in the country at that time.
MSEDCL has also floated a tender for solar-wind hybrid generation at five places. The developer will have to quote the maximum capacity it can generate.
Bawankule has decided to supply solar power to all agricultural feeders by 2025. In addition, he is installing solar agricultural pumps. He has also decided to convert rural water works to solar.