Daily News Wrap-Up: Mercom’s Second Edition of C&I Clean Energy Meet Series Begins

Government allows NTPC to invest over 30% of net worth in its green arm

March 23, 2023


Mercom India held the first event of the “C&I Clean Energy Meet 2023” series in Bengaluru. The event was hosted in partnership with the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI). FKCCI is an apex organization for industry, trade, and service sectors in Karnataka and has been in operation for over a century. The Clean Energy Meet series, hosted across major cities in India, focuses on C&I businesses transitioning to renewables for their energy needs. These events provide an unique single platform for consumers to come face to face with renewable energy stakeholders to understand and implement the benefits of the renewable transition.

The government has allowed NTPC to invest in its subsidiary, NTPC Green Energy (NGEL), beyond the limit allowed for a ‘maharatna’ central public sector enterprise (CPSE).  The extant guidelines prescribe a ceiling of 30% of a CPSE’s net worth for making such investments. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also exempted NGEL’s investment in NTPC Renewable Energy and its other joint ventures and subsidiaries, subject to a ceiling of 15% of its net worth beyond the monetary ceiling of ₹50 billion (~$605 million) to ₹75 billion (~$1 billion).

Global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) has agreed to sell 50% of its stake in renewable developer X-ELIO to its joint venture partner Brookfield Renewable. Financial details were not disclosed. Since KKR’s initial investment in 2015, followed by Brookfield’s acquisition of a 50% stake in 2019, X-ELIO has benefitted from over $2 billion of investment. X-ELIO has constructed or developed 3 GW of renewable energy projects globally.

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has adopted tariffs of ₹3.28 ($0.039)/kWh, ₹3.29 ($0.039)/kWh, and ₹3.30 (~$0.040)/kWh for the procurement of 8.7 MW of solar power on a long-term basis. The Commission noted that the solar power procured from the projects would be eligible to fulfill the solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO) of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL).

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Mandi (IIT Mandi) have claimed a breakthrough in producing metal oxide layers for use in advanced architecture silicon solar cells using a cost-effective method. This innovative process could pave the way for the commercial production of advanced solar cells with improved efficiency and lower costs, contributing to the widespread adoption of renewable energy sources.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) has invited bids for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of an existing 8 MW solar power project at the LPG bottling plant at Sanand in Ahmedabad for five years. The last date to submit the bids is April 15, 2023. Bids will be opened on April 17. The project’s estimated cost is ₹40.9 million (~$494,921). Bidders need not submit any earnest money deposit to participate in bidding. The successful bidder must submit an amount equivalent to 3% of the total contract value as a security deposit.

Sterling and Wilson Renewable Energy, the solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) arm of Shapoorji Pallonji Group, won NTPC’s tender for the balance of system (BOS) package to develop 1.2 GW (4*300 MW) of solar power projects at Khavda renewable park in Gujarat. The aggregate capacity of the project is approximately 1.5 GW. The total bid value, including the operation and maintenance for 3 years, is ₹21 billion (~$254 million).

JSW Neo Energy (JSW Energy) and Greenko KA 01 IREP (Greenko) have won the Power Company of Karnataka’s (PCKL) auction to supply 1 GW of energy for 8 hours daily from pumped hydro storage projects providing continuous 5-hour discharge. JSW Neo Energy won 300 MW by quoting ₹14.75 million (~$178,661), and Greenko bagged 700 MW by quoting ₹14.76 million (~$178,782) under the bucket-filling method. Greenko had quoted for 960 MW. The starting price for the e-reverse auction was set as ₹14.88 million (~$180,235).

India has expressed concern about the carbon border measures proposed by the European Union (EU) at a recent meeting of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Committee on Trade and Environment. Presenting a paper on the increasing use of environmental measures as protectionist non-tariff barriers, India said it was concerned about the proposed Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which seeks to impose a carbon tariff on carbon-intensive products imported into Europe.

Financial support from developed economies to developing nations which is a critical enabler of climate action has been inadequate, said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report highlighting that the promised mobilization of $100 billion under the Paris Climate Accord hasn’t materialized for the developing countries. India welcomed the much-needed financial support to provide developing countries with the required technology to help cut greenhouse gas emissions. The report emphasized that India has consistently held the position that development is our first defense against climate change.

NTPC Limited’s wholly owned subsidiary, NGEL, has entered into a joint venture agreement with Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) to develop renewable energy projects that can meet round-the-clock power requirements to meet the electricity demands of IOCL refineries. The signing of the joint venture agreement between NTPC Limited and IOCL is expected to facilitate the two companies in achieving the Clean Energy Targets set by the Government of India in their respective core businesses, an official statement said.