Hyderabad: Although the state government has been claiming that Telangana is one of the top solar power generating states in the country, many solar power firms are in financial doldrums due to non-payment of bills of over Rs 2,000 crore by Telangana State Transmission Corporation (TS Transco) since July 2018.
Nearly, 200 solar power generation companies across erstwhile districts like Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda and Rangareddy districts generate about 3,600MW of power in the state to meet the growing power demand in the state.
However, solar power developers, who entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the TS Transco in 2012, were supposed to get an amount of Rs 5.17 and Rs 6.90 per unit of solar power they generate and supply to the state.
Owing to financial pressure on power purchase from National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Chhattisgarh and, reportedly, the meagre support from the state government, the Transco has stopped paying private solar power generation units.
Telangana Solar Developers Association members said that pending bills are taking a toll on small companies that generate 1 MW or 5 MW of power, and many of the owners had established units by taking loans. “As per the PPAs, the Transco has to pay the bills within a month of taking the meter readings. As per the latest guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India, the CIBIL score gets affected if any firm does not pay one month’s EMI. It becomes a Non-Performing Asset (NPA) if payment is not done for three consecutive months,” a developer said on condition of anonymity.
Interestingly, despite failing to clear pending bills to solar power developers, the state government is now planning to procure an additional 1,100 MW solar power from next year. “Tenders have been floated through NTPC and power will be supplied from end of next year,” Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Limited chairman and managing director G Raghuma Reddy said. On the pending bills to solar power developers, he said that TS Transco was handling the issue.
Meanwhile, TS Transco, CMD D Prabhakar Rao, and joint managing director M Srinivasa Rao were unavailable for comments.